By William Mauldin 

President Biden's chief medical adviser said he expects Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine to return to use in the U.S. by Friday, following a pause due to concerns about blood clots in several patients.

"I would be very surprised...if we don't have a resumption in some form by Friday," Dr. Anthony Fauci told CBS's "Face the Nation," echoing remarks he made on other networks Sunday.

U.S. health authorities on Tuesday recommended suspending use of J&J's single-dose shot out of an abundance of caution while they investigate reports of the six women who got the vaccine and soon developed serious blood clots. The women were between 18 and 48 years old. One died.

The pause is in place at least until a federal vaccine-advisory committee meets Friday to review the matter.

"I would think that we're not gonna go beyond Friday, in the extension of this pause," said Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on ABC's "This Week."

Disease experts said it is possible the regulators would place age or sex restrictions on the vaccine or issue warnings to doctors about how to avoid or treat any problems linked to the shot.

"I don't want to get ahead of them, but I believe we'll be back with some sort of indication a little bit different from before the pause," Dr. Fauci said on ABC.

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who served in the Trump administration, said that "you might see a situation where the vaccine does get reserved for use in older individuals who are both potentially at lower risk of this side effect and also at higher risk of a bad outcome from Covid." Another possibility is just bringing the vaccine back with different warnings, he said.

Drs. Fauci and Gottlieb appeared to play down the risk that the vaccination program in the U.S. would be undercut by new or potent coronavirus variants this summer.

"Even some of the ones that are more problematic, the vaccine might not completely protect against it, but it almost certainly, at least in our current experience, protects against very severe disease, death particularly," Dr. Fauci said on CNN.

One way to address new variants and or any natural declines in immunity from the current vaccines is through subsequent booster shots, beyond the normal two shots received of the Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. vaccines or the single J&J shot.

Dr. Fauci said on CBS that by the end of the summer or early fall medical authorities may recommend "an additional shot against the original virus or perhaps a vaccination against something that's very specific to whatever variant you're worried about."

--Peter Loftus contributed to this article.

Write to William Mauldin at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 18, 2021 12:46 ET (16:46 GMT)

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