US weighs next steps for J&J vaccine after rare cases of blood clots

A Centers for Disease Control advisory committee held a meeting on Wednesday to examine a half-dozen adverse reactions to the Johnson & Johnson one-shot COVID vaccine.
The three-hour emergency meeting was held virtually from the CDC hub in Atlanta where dozens of the nation’s medical leaders investigated the cases of the six women who became ill after taking the J&J vaccine.
"There is a singular question at hand," said Dr. Adam Cohen of the CDC. "Do we have enough information?"

SEE ALSO: California, Bay Area also 'pause' J&J vaccines because 1 in a million chance of blood clot

The patients, all between the ages of 18 and 48, suffered rare and severe brain blood clots. The symptoms surfaced about two weeks after they received the vaccine. However, this condition exists in the general public without taking a COVID vaccine and with slightly higher rates of occurrence.
Even so, the Federal Drug Administration and CDC both recommended pausing the use of the drug for at least a week. Most states and private providers are following suit.

The advisory committee said it didn't have enough data to re-approve the vaccine, even though the risk for serious reactions is extremely low. 

SEE ALSO: Newsom: J&J vaccine pause won’t affect California reopening
"It will not materially affect our ability to provide enough vaccine to fully vaccinate. So we can begin to more fully open our economy by June 15th," Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Tuesday.
California’s proposed full reopening comes at a time when the use of the J&J vaccine is paused and vaccine eligibility opens up across the state to people 16 years and older.

SEE ALSO: 15 million J&J COVID vaccines thrown away after ingredient mix-up

"There’s already frustration waiting for the vaccine so it’s probably going to put more anxiety on people who want to get it," said Gerlie Vedad. Added Fernando Sone, "It’s rough trying to be on that waitlist currently, there are no available appointments in my area."
U.S. health officials are working to determine if there’s a definite link between the six cases being studied and the J&J vaccine. There have been similar blood clotting cases in Europe, but with the AstraZeneca vaccine, in both women and men.