CDC Advisory Committee Extends Pause On Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

The CDC advisory committee voted to extend the pause on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine; KDKA's Dr. Maria Simbra reports.

Video Transcript

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KRISTINE SORENSEN: An emergency meeting at the CDC this afternoon in the wake of federal health experts pushing pause on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC Advisory Committee just decided to extend the vaccine's pause for another 10 to 14 days.

KEN RICE: Dr. Maria Simbra monitored the meeting and explains what's currently under review.

MARIA SIMBRA: The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices met emergently to discuss the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The meeting was put together in less than 48 hours because of six reports in young women of a rare clotting syndrome with low levels of blood cells called platelets. Johnson & Johnson discussed the details of the known cases, including how long after the vaccine the clots occurred, all happened within 14 days. They've paid close attention to whether the patients had a specific antibody called anti-platelet factor 4, which can play a role in these clots. Five out of six did.

Presenters reviewed baseline rates of these rare clots. The CDC determined that in combination with low platelets, the rate in women ages 20 to 50 exceeded the background rate by three times or more. They pointed out these clots have not been noted with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

The question at the center of the discussion, is there enough information for the panel to make a recommendation or does the panel need more time. For rare events like these clots it will take a lot of combing through the data. I'm Dr. Maria Simbra, KDKA News.