CDC panel meeting to decide future of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Coronavirus

(WPRI) — A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) panel is set to meet Friday to consider whether it is safe to resume the use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The J&J vaccine has been on pause for the past ten days following six reported cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in women between the ages of 18 and 48.

The panel will reconvene at 11 a.m. to learn more about any additional blood clot cases and then a decision is expected around 5 p.m.

If the panel decides to lift the pause, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will most likely require a warning with the shot.

Even if the CDC clears the J&J vaccine, Dr. Jim McDonald from the R.I. Department of Health told 12 News the shot may not be used in the Ocean State.

“Rhode Island is going to look at the data, look at the recommendations, and make a customized recommendation for you, because we’re your doctor Rhode Island, and we need to make sure what we have is good for you,” McDonald said.

Authorities have said previously the J&J pause hasn’t impacted availability in Rhode Island.

“We actually have a good supply of Pfizer and Moderna vaccine right now so vaccine supply is really robust right now,” McDonald added. “We only have about 3,500 J&J doses right now so we don’t have a lot of it anyway.”

The state’s COVID response team says supply currently outweighs demand with thousands of appointments currently available on VaccinateRI.org.

Before the pause, more than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine were administered in the U.S.

Around 31,000 of those shots were administered in Rhode Island, and none of the side effects have been reported.

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