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America’s top public health experts are itching for one thing: more information.
Ever since six cases of rare, but potentially life-threatening blood clots showed up in women who had recently been vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson’s one dose COVID-19 vaccine, doctors and public health pros have been trying to determine whether this very, very rare event could be related to the shot.
These highly unusual brain clots, though exceedingly rare, have shown up in about one in a million vaccine recipients so far, resulting in one death. More cases may still be unreported (the clots we know about haven’t shown up until 6-13 days after vaccination), making it hard for experts to gauge the true scale of the issue.
Last week, an independent advisory committee that makes vaccine recommendations to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made a plea to shot-givers across the US: let’s continue to pause use of this vaccine for now, to gather more data on how many of these dangerous clots are really out there.
But all signs are suggesting that the pause could be coming to an end this weekend.
Insider spoke with five of the 15 CDC vaccine advisory committee members who are meeting on Friday to vote on whether to continue the J&J pause across the US. Barring any more major surprises in the data, they all seemed eager to get the vaccine back into syringes and arms across the nation ASAP.
Millions of Americans got the shot before it was paused
To date, more than 8 million people across the US have been vaccinated with J&J.
As of last Wednesday, monitoring from the federal government and J&J collectively had flagged a total of seven worrisome clot cases in women under the age of 60, plus one case (during clinical trials) in a young man.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky hinted at a White House briefing earlier this week that at least another “handful” of cases have been spotted during this week and a half long pause.
Are these one-in-a-million clots caused by the vaccine, or just a fluke?
The clots, cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) are especially worrisome because they come with low blood platelet levels (thrombocytopenia). That means one of the most common blood clot treatments (heparin) only makes them worse.
Symptoms almost always start with a headache and some chills. Then they progress into severe abdominal pain and loss of consciousness. Eventually they can lead …read more
Source:: Business Insider