Dr. Anne Schuchat:
Thank you, Judy.
We’re taking this very seriously. As you said, almost seven million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the United States. And, right now, we have six reports of serious blood clots, including one fatality, unfortunately.
There is an unusual pattern to the blood clots, in that there is a very low platelet count, in addition to the clotting event. And that unusual pattern tipped us off that we really needed to take this seriously. We have recommended a pause for three reasons, because we wanted to give the health care community time to learn how to recognize, diagnose, and manage this condition, because if you treat this condition with the usual treatment for clotting, it can get worse.
So, that was a critical reason to get the word out. The second one was to urge more reporting, so we could get a better understanding of the pattern and whether this is limited to women, certain ages, or just how frequent it is.
And then the third reason for the pause was to give time for our Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, our group of independent scientific experts, to review the data carefully and give us their advice. And that meeting will be happening tomorrow.