AUSTIN (KXAN) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are calling for the U.S. to pause the use of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine out of “an abundance of caution” due to rare, severe blood clots.
Officials released the statement Tuesday morning saying there have been “extremely rare” blood clotting issues found in people who took the vaccine. The FDA says more than 6.8 million doses of the vaccine have been administered, and six cases of a severe type of blood clot have developed.
“All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination,” the FDA said in a statement.
“Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered,” the FDA added. “Usually an anticoagulant drug called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this setting, administration of heparin may be dangerous, and alternative treatments need to be given.”
The FDA and CDC are reviewing data and the cases, and will convene a committee a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday to start an investigation. Until that process is done, the agencies said the use of Johnson & Johnson vaccines should be paused “due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.”
The agencies will hold a news conference at 9 a.m. on the FDA’s YouTube channel to discuss the pause. We will stream it live in this story and on Facebook.
The FDA says people who have gotten the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who “develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.”
This article originally appeared on KXAN Austin