The nation’s leading infectious-diseases expert says “safety is the important issue here” when discussing the “pause” in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Watch the press briefing in the video player above.
“We are aware this is a very rare event,” said National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci.
“We want to get this worked out as quickly as we possibly can and that is why you see the word pause, in other words you want to hold off for a bit and very well may go back to that maybe some conditions or maybe not.”
This comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration recommended a “pause” in using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots.
Health officials said Tuesday they were investigating clots in six women in the days after vaccination, in combination with reduced platelet counts.
More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been given in the U.S., the vast majority with no or mild side effects.
A CDC committee will meet Wednesday to discuss the cases and the FDA has also launched an investigation.
Jeff Zients, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, said 28 million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be available for states this week, more than enough to keep up the nation’s pace of 3 million shots a day despite the J&J pause.