Fauci: Johnson & Johnson vaccine likely to resume this week

FDA recently announced the suspension of the use of the vaccine due to blood clots.

Ben Ariel ,

Anthony Fauci
Anthony Fauci

The United States will likely move to resume Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine this coming week, top infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday, according to The Associated Press.

Speaking in a series of news show interviews, Fauci said he expects a decision when advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention meet Friday to discuss the pause in J&J’s single-dose vaccine.

“I would be very surprised if we don’t have a resumption in some form by Friday,” he said, according to AP. “I don’t really anticipate that they’re going to want it stretch it out a bit longer.”

Fauci, who is President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, said he believed that federal regulators could bring the shots back with restrictions based on age or gender or with a blanket warning, so that it is administered in a way “a little bit different than we were before the pause.”

Earlier this week, the United States suspended use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine after six women who received the shot developed blood clots, one of whom died.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the suspension of the use of the vaccine Tuesday, citing the "rare & severe type of blood clot.”

"Vaccine safety is a top priority for the federal government, and we take all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination very seriously," the FDA wrote on Twitter.

Fauci said on Sunday he doubted very seriously that the US would permanently halt use of the J&J vaccine.

“I don’t think that’s going to happen,” he said, according to AP. “The pause was to take a look, make sure we know all the information we can have within that timeframe, and also warn some of the physicians out there who might see people, particularly women, who have this particular adverse event, that they treat them properly.”

“I think it’ll likely say, ‘OK, we’re going to use it. But be careful under these certain circumstances,’” he added.

Europe's drug regulator has also launched a probe into rare blood clots among people on the US who received Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine.

The European probe follows a probe of blood clots in the brain reported in people given the AstraZeneca vaccine.

A host of countries, including Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, recently suspended use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine amid reports of dangerous blood clots forming in some vaccinators. Some of those countries have resumed inoculations.

The European Union's drug regulatory agency issued a statement two weeks ago saying that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is not linked to an overall increase in risk of blood clots.