A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel on Friday urged the U.S. to resume Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccinations despite a very rare risk for blood clots.
The guidance follows an 11-day pause in inoculations that was triggered by concerns over six cases of a rare blood clot that occurred out of more than 7 million people who had received the vaccine in the U.S.
The panel voted 10 to 4 to recommend restarting the vaccinations but suggested that the shot include a warning about the increased risk of the very rare but severe blood clots.
“Today’s presentations and discussions have convinced me that lifting the pause on J&J’s vaccine is in the best public health interest of the U.S. population,” said Dr. Henry Bernstein, a professor of pediatrics at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell in New York.
The panel’s recommendation, which is non-binding, will now head to CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
Walensky will decide whether to accept the guidance. She told NBC’s Today show that she expects to “make a decision quickly.”
After the pause was put in place on April 13, an additional nine confirmed cases of the rare stroke were reported and a small number of other potential cases are under review.
Of the confirmed cases, three patients died, while seven others remain hospitalized.
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