Officials may recommend Johnson & Johnson vaccine resume use 'as soon as this weekend'

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine
(Image credit: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

The pause of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine in the United States might be days away from coming to an end, according to a new report.

Federal health authorities are "leaning toward" recommending resuming use of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, "possibly as soon as this weekend," The Washington Post reported on Thursday.

The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on April 13 called for a pause of the vaccine "out of an abundance of caution" due to "six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving" the vaccine.

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On Friday, a meeting of a CDC advisory group is scheduled to take place, and the panel could recommend the vaccine be put back in use. According to the Post, officials will likely not recommend age restrictions for the vaccine but may recommend it come with a warning. That would be a similar step to the one taken by the European Medicines Agency, which said that "unusual blood clots" should be "listed as very rare side effects" of the vaccine, but determined that its benefits outweigh its risks.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky while speaking to NBC's Today on Thursday said that she didn't want to "get ahead" of the advisory committee, but is "really hopeful that we'll be able to use the vaccine soon." Walensky also noted to the Post that the government has only seen a "handful" of additional blood clotting cases and that "we are not being inundated with things that we are concerned about," while Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said the lack of a "huge avalanche" of clotting cases is a "great relief."

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