Vaccine distribution moves forward without J&J shot

The experts on the CDC advisory board say they need more information about the rare blood clots that have been reported.

Video Transcript

KEN ROSATO: 6:01, the race to vaccinate remains at a standstill for one of the three coronavirus vaccines authorized here in the US. The CDC deciding to kick the can down the road on the Johnson & Johnson formula, as it investigates several cases of a rare blood clot. But not every health expert agrees with the move. Eyewitness News reporter Candace McCowan is live outside the Javits Center with the latest. Good morning, Candace.

CANDACE MCCOWAN: Ken, good morning to you. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine remains on the shelf for now, and it's not clear exactly when that would change. That is after out of nearly seven million shots, that there have been six cases, all women 18 to 48, who developed those unusual blood clots, one of them dying.

The CDC is trying to figure out if these were reactions to the vaccine, and if so, how big the potential risk really is. And they've asked for more information, saying that they will reconvene in the next seven to 10 days. The CDC panel did say that they do not want the pause to be permanent, and hope to make a decision soon. But their next meeting has not yet been set.

ANNE SCHUCHAT: I can't say how long the pause will last, but a key component of why we are on this pause, is so that we can educate the clinicians about how to diagnose and treat this condition, because the usual treatment could actually make things worse.

CANDACE MCCOWAN: Yeah, and there's pushback on the continuation of the pause in the J&J vaccine use. Dr. Ashish Jha tweeting that given that most cases of the vaccine-related blood clots appear in women, that the advisory panel should have recommended continuing a pause for women 18 to 49, but resuming for everyone else. Keeping the vaccine pause for everyone makes little sense. Risk-benefit keeping vaccine pause for everyone is way off.

Dr. Jha going on to say that the chance of actually catching COVID is about one in 1,000. The chance of dying from it is almost one in 100 once you have it. But the chance of getting these blood clots, he says right now it appears to be one in one million.