The Covid-19 vaccine from J&J, put on hold by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on April 13, might return.
Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the chief medical advisor to the President Joe Biden, said so during the Meet the Press show on NBC on April 18.
The decision, he said, would be made on Friday, April 23.
The J& J vaccine was temporarily put on pause in the United States after six women who received the single-dose vaccine experienced a “rare and severe” type of blood clot. One of the women died.
On April 14, the CDC issued a statement saying that the agencies need more time to gather evidence in determining “whether the clots were linked to the J&J shot, and if so, how big the risk is, to make any further decisions.”
More than 7.2 million Americans have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“My estimate is that we will continue to use it in some form,” Fauci said. “I doubt very seriously if they just cancel it. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I do think that there will likely be some sort of warning or restriction or risk assessment.”
The six-page booklet that was given to each person who got the J& J vaccine listed among possible side effects “injection site reaction — pain, redness of the skin and swelling. And general side effects: Headache, feeling very tired, muscle aches, nausea, and fever.”
Under severe allergic reaction, it mentions difficult breathing, swelling of face, fast heartbeat, red rash over body, dizziness and headache.
However, nowhere it says how high the fever could go, or about severe leg pain, or acute body pain or chills that some who got the J&J vaccine experienced.
indica News asked Prasun Mishra, founding president and CEO of the American Association for Precision Medicine (AAPM), who concerned with the reported side effects said that as per the FDA and the CDC, so far only women between the ages of 18 and 48 have been impacted.
“All six US women developed symptoms six to 13 days after receiving the J&J vaccine,” said Mishra referring to a recent Washington Post article on the death of a vaccine recipient in Virginia in March.
Fauci on Sunday denied that women on birth control pills are more susceptible to severe side effects from the vaccine.
Asked if she would take the J&J vaccine if it was resumed, Goral, an Indian-American woman who requested that only her first name be used, told indica News, “It’s unfortunate for J&J to have such circumstances. It could happen with any company as with such a rush to prepare a vaccine would have consequences for sure as it’s not customized as per each body as per health history; so, I would take it once it is back in the market.”
Another woman, Reena, said she would not take any of the vaccines and would prefer homeopathy.
Men who have received the J&J vaccine have also reported side effects. One man had 102°F fever, and acute leg pain hours after the J&J shot. He said it started with a chill. The second day he developed stomach pain, though he is better now.
“There is not much known about the gender-specific side effects associated with the J&J vaccine,” Prasun Mishra said. “The CDC is actively investigating this as we speak and we should have answers soon.
“What concerns me is that the rare blood clots that the six women suffered occured within the brain. And this is a known fact that blood clots in the brain can be dangerous and among many other things are known to cause strokes and in some incidences death,” he added.
At the White House’s Covid-19 briefing on April 16, surgeon general Dr Vivek Murthy pointed out: “I know that people have questions about this given the cases they heard about, but keep in mind that more than 7 million people have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and we feel quite confident that the vast, vast majority of them are just going to be fine.”