Government health officials on Tuesday declared a pause in the administration of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, after six cases of a serious type of uncommon blood clot were recently reported in recipients.
According to a statement released by the FDA and CDC, all the cases were reported in women aged between 18 and 48. Symptoms of the blood clot started developing after six to twelve days of receiving the vaccine.
Six Reported Cases Of An Uncommon Blood Clot; CDC And FDA Urge To Pause The Use Of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
The statement read that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be holding a meeting of its Advisory Committee on Immunization practices, on Wednesday. The purpose of the meeting will be to review the six cases and evaluate their severity and significance. The Food and Drug Administration will keep on investigating the cases for further information.
The federal agencies firmly recommended that until their review and evaluation process is complete, the vaccine administration procedure must remain paused in order to ensure safety and awareness. Meanwhile, the healthcare provider community can plan for proper recognition and management that is required to deal with and treat this rare type of blood clot.
The agencies also informed that the recipients reportedly developed a blood clot in the brain, which is known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis or CVST. This uncommon syndrome occurs when a blood clot develops in the brain’s venous sinuses. It has an array of symptoms that are associated with it including fainting, seizures, headaches and blurry vision. Not only that, but the recipients who had contracted the syndrome simultaneously exhibited a low platelet count.
An anticoagulant (blood thinner) called Heparin is usually used to treat or prevent blood clots. However, it may be a little risky to use the same to treat this condition, given that the extent of the situation has not yet been fully examined. Hence, alternative treatments need to be given out.
The health officials notified that the detected blood clots appear to be “extremely rare” and in any case, if the recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine start exhibiting symptoms like abdominal pain, leg pain or severe headaches within three weeks after receiving the vaccine, they must inform their doctor.
CVST or this rare form of blood clot accompanied with low platelet count was first detected in the UK in recipients of the Covishield vaccine, the vaccine which was jointly formulated by the Oxford University and the British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca. European officials believe that it is “plausible” that the blood clots have been caused by the vaccination and they are also reviewing four similar cases.
Jake Sargent, who serves as the spokesperson at Johnson & Johnson, has said the the pharmaceutical firm shares details of adverse and serious cases with health officials, at all times. Sargent has also firmly emphasized that there is no evidence for believing that these events have been caused by the Janssen vaccine. The company is continuing to work closely with health officials in order to assess the data and further comprehend the severity of the situation.
One of the cases occurred in a female resident of Nebraska in her late 40s, who encountered a blood coagulation two weeks after taking the Janssen vaccine. She is currently receiving treatment at the Nebraska Medical Center, state authorities said Monday.
The AstraZeneca vaccine has been administered to 34 million people, out of which 222 cases of blood clots had been recorded. 18 deaths have been reported, so far, from the clot.