Report: U.S. to suspend use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine
What was once hailed a "game changer" vaccine by Gov. Phil Murphy is getting kicked out of the game.
Federal Health agencies will suspend use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at all federally run vaccination sites on Tuesday, according to a report in the New York Times. The action comes after six recipients of the J&J vaccine developed blood clots and one died. All six cases were among women between 18 and 49, according to the Times.
This is the latest setback for the New Brunswick-based pharmaceutical giant. J&J was the third to have their vaccine approved for emergency use in the United States despite a lower efficacy than the multi-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
Even before approval, J&J announced they were having production issues and would not be able to deliver as many doses as first promised.
Last month, quality control issues at a manufacturing plan caused millions of doses to have to be thrown out, further reducing available supply.
At least two people from the New Jersey region — a man from Edison and a woman from New York City — tested positive for COVID-19 after receiving the J&J vaccine. The Edison man remains hospitalized in critical condition.
The blot clot issue is similar to one seen in Europe with a vaccine developed by AstraZeneca, which has not been approved for use in the United States. Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Denmark, Thailand, the Netherlands, Norway, Iceland, Congo, and Bulgaria have all suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Other countries, like Canada, are restricting its use.
It is unclear whether New Jersey will suspend the use of the J&J vaccine. The Murphy administration has not yet responded to requests for comment. Supplies of the vaccine, however, have been dramatically limited due to production problems. Several New Jersey localities have been using their allotment of J&J vaccine to reach homebound residents.
LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions
While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.