In a decision released today, experts said that the risks of administering the vaccine, associated with very rare cases of blood clots, are minimal given the benefits of being vaccinated against a virus that still infects tens of thousands of Americans every day.
Of the nearly eight million people who were vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson, before the vaccine was stopped, health officials identified 15 cases of a rare type of blood clot, three of which were fatal.
All cases occurred in women, most of them under the age of 50.
Today’s decision states that it is essential to inform younger women of this risk, in clear and understandable terms, so that they can decide whether they would prefer to choose an alternative vaccine.
The committee agreed, by a vote of 10 to 4, against suspending the suspension of the use of the syringe in question, without age restrictions.
It is now up to the US government to evaluate the recommendation and decide whether to resume use of the single-dose vaccine, which was halted 11 days ago.
The Center for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will evaluate the recommendation, and it is standard practice to follow expert advice.
Former CDC director Rochelle Walinski promised a quick fix to the problem.
Earlier this week, European regulators made a similar decision, stating that reducing the risk of thrombosis was not a deterrent to using the J&J injection.
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