Surgeon says pausing J&J vaccine for younger populations makes sense, but could be lifted for older age groups
Dr. Atul Gawande said he “thinks something special is going on here” when it comes to blood clotting and Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 single-dose vaccine.
“We have an unusual type of clotting syndrome, very specific to these vaccines, in women in the younger age group, and it’s not like the other cases where these rare incidents happen. I think there are probably adenovirus vaccines. A some risk for this rare disease, which is increased in a certain age group, “said Gawande.
Experts from a panel of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decided to postpone a decision on the use of J & J’s single-dose Covid vaccine on Wednesday. They found they needed more time to assess the data and risks.
The meeting comes a day after federal health officials advised the US to temporarily suspend use of J & J’s single-dose vaccine as a “caution” after six women out of approximately 6.9 million people who received the shot reported getting heavy blood clots. Due to the postponement of the vote, the pause remains in force for the time being.
Gawande, a surgeon and professor at TH Chan School of Public Health at Harvard, said he thought the J&J vaccine hiatus made sense for younger populations, and he also thought it could be lifted for older age groups.
“I think there is enough information to know that this is safe for people over 50 and I think they could possibly have left the break for the older age group,” Gawande said on CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” . “I think this could end up here like you saw for AstraZeneca in Europe.”
More than 7.2 million J&J doses have been administered nationwide, and the vaccine is responsible for 9.5% of the roughly 75 million Americans who are fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.
Gawande noted that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine supply can be used to contain the increase in cases in states in the United States. He told host Shepard Smith that he was in favor of increasing the second dose of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to two, four, six weeks “in order to double the number of people currently vaccinated.