Johnson and Johnson Vaccine "Paused" in U.S.

Six women between the ages of 18 and 48 have been afflicted with a blood clotting disorder within three weeks of taking the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. One died, one is in critical condition in the hospital. While that's a tiny number of the 9 million people in America who have received the vaccine, the government is concerned enough to put a "pause" on the vaccine until they know more.

Scientists with the F.D.A. and C.D.C. will jointly examine possible links between the vaccine and the disorder and determine whether the F.D.A. should continue to authorize use of the vaccine for all adults or modify the authorization, possibly limiting it to certain population groups. An emergency meeting of the C.D.C.’s outside vaccine advisory committee has been scheduled for Wednesday.

What population group would you exclude? Females between 18 and 48? [More...]

There's another problem:

... a standard treatment for blood clots — use of an anticoagulant drug — could be dangerous or even fatal in such cases.

What symptoms do you look for?

If you receive the vaccine and develop severe headaches, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath, you should contact your health care provider and seek medical treatment,” she said.

What if you've had a blood clot?

In the United States alone, 300,000 to 600,000 people a year develop blood clots, according to C.D.C. data. But the particular blood clotting disorder that the vaccine recipients developed, known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, is extremely rare. Dr. Schuchat described the condition as “a severe strokelike illness linked to low platelet counts.”

...Government experts are concerned that the blood clots are linked to an immune system response triggered by the vaccine.

In Europe, Astra Zeneca has had problems.

Researchers in Germany and Norway published studies on April 9 suggesting that in very rare cases, the AstraZeneca vaccine caused people to make antibodies that activated their own platelets.

... AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson use the same platform for their vaccine, a virus known as an adenovirus.

Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use a "different technology". More on AstraZeneca here.

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