Fauci Predicts J&J Vaccine Returning Friday, Perhaps With Limits, Warnings -- Update
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
"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
afterward developed serious blood clots. The women were between 18
and 48 years old. One died.
More than 7.2 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been
administered in the U.S.; about 1.5 million of those doses went to
women between the ages of 18 and 50.
J&J said Friday there wasn't enough evidence to establish
that the company's Covid-19 vaccine causes the rare blood-clotting
condition that prompted U.S. health officials this week to
recommend a pause in its use.
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
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 email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 18, 2021 13:06 ET (17:06 GMT)
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