As CDC Investigates Clots, Should J&J Shots Resume for Women Over 48 and Men?

The Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine is on hold after six women between the ages of 18 and 48 experienced rare blood clots; medical experts have different opinions on whether shots should resume for people outside that demographic group

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Women are watching closely to see what the CDC and FDA decide to do with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after rare blood clots were found in six women out of seven million shots administered.

Administration of the company's vaccine is on hold after six cases where women, all between the ages of 18 and 48, experienced a rare type of blood clot known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, or CVST.

"I feel like more testing needs to at least be done, but like personally, for me, I'm waiting," said Samantha Gandulla of Worcester, Massachusetts.

Dee Kone of Worcester said she had signed up for the J&J vaccine, but hadn't gotten it yet, when it was paused.

"I'm so happy I didn't get it, because I would be worried right now," said Kone.

But what about for women not in the 18-48 age group? And what about men, who have reportedly not shown serious side effects?

"I think if they work the kinks out, I think they should bring it back, because a lot of folks could really use that," said Nestor Rosado, whose dad got Johnson & Johnson shot.

Dr. Ashish Jha of Brown University said on Twitter he believes the J&J vaccine should continue to be paused for women in the affected age group, but "resuming for everyone else," adding that keeping the pause in place for everyone else "makes little sense."

"You want to make sure the safety of the vaccine is top priority, but you also acknowledge the fact that we're in the middle of a pandemic," said Dr. Gabriela Andujar Vazquez of Tufts Medical Center.

Andujar says she understands the push to get the one-shot vaccine back for as many people as possible, but she says we still have time to analyze more research before it begins impacting the supply.

"We do have two very safe and effective vaccines that we're lucky to have," she said, "and able to use while we try to figure out the safety of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine."

The advisory panel to the CDC has said it will reconvene to vote on a recommendation for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the next one to two weeks.

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