The third vaccine to win emergency use authorization in the U.S. could reappear after a 10-day pause, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top disease expert.
FDA and CDC had recommended temporarily suspending the use of the Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) vaccine after six women developed serious blood clots within weeks of vaccination.
Fauci stressed that he was uncertain how CDC and FDA might proceed with the vaccine but believed that it was unlikely the pause would become permanent.
The vaccine will likely be accompanied by a warning mentioning a small risk of blood clotting problems, including cerebral venous sinus thrombosis presenting with low platelet count.
“I do think that there will likely be some sort of warning or restriction or risk assessment. I don’t think it’s just going to go back and say, ‘OK, everything’s fine,’ and go right back,” Fauci said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
A CDC advisory panel is set to discuss the J&J vaccine on April 23. The committee also met on April 13 to examine the blood-clot risk potentially associated with the vaccine.
Another justification for the temporary pause on using the J&J vaccine is for the CDC and FDA to enable the agencies to formulate guidance for medical professionals. “You want to let the physicians out there who see women or anybody with this condition [know] that the standard way that you would think about treating blood clots is with the anticoagulant heparin,” Fauci said. “That would be contraindicated in this case because heparin could actually make things worse.”