CDC vaccine advisers will meet Friday to discuss the J&J vaccine. Here's what could happen next

Vaccine advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention meet Friday to make recommendations for use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine afte...

Posted: Apr 21, 2021 4:16 PM

Vaccine advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention meet Friday to make recommendations for use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine after it was put on hold to investigate a potential link to serious blood clots.

The CDC and US Food and Drug Administration recommended a pause on use of the J&J coronavirus vaccine last week following six reported US cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot.

They are investigating whether there are more cases and whether other types of blood clots might be associated with the vaccine. The pause was also intended to give experts time to inform doctors about how to look for and treat these clots.

The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices met on April 14, but members said they needed more information about the J&J vaccine and the blood clot cases.

Dr. William Schaffner, a non-voting ACIP member and infectious diseases professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, told CNN that the committee delayed making a decision because there will likely be more reports of blood clots connected to the vaccine, and members need to understand the demographics of those cases.

Schaffner said Friday's meeting could play out a few different ways.

ACIP could recommend that use of the vaccine resume with no changes, or the committee could recommend that the US stop using the J&J vaccine altogether.

Schaffner said it's more likely that ACIP will recommend that use of the vaccine resume with a warning about possible adverse effects -- and potentially, advice to the highest-risk populations to steer clear of this vaccine altogether.

ACIP chair Dr. Jose Romero told CNN that the committee also has the option to recommend the pause continue until more information is gathered -- though he believes enough data has been generated at this point for ACIP to make a decision.

Romero said he has yet to examine the data that will be considered Friday but does not believe the committee will decide to recommend a complete stop to use of the vaccine in the US.

"CDC scientists can make an estimate of what the benefit-risk analysis would be, and that's certainly going to inform us in our decision," said Romero. "Whoever uses the vaccine -- as with any vaccine in this country -- they should be informed about any risks associated with it."

He noted that a potential Covid-19 vaccine booster dose may eventually need to be considered.

"If there's a high-risk population that is indicated that they should not receive the vaccine, then I would imagine the CDC will make recommendations about what the alternative vaccine would be in that group," Romero said.

What action could ACIP take?

One blood clot case in a 25-year-old man was reported during the vaccine's clinical trial. Though the six cases that led to the pause last week were all among women between the ages of 18 and 48, Schaffner said that may not be an accurate representation of risk.

Nearly 8 million people in the US have now received the J&J vaccine. Doctors could realize now that cases of these rare blood clots that they've recently seen were connected to the vaccine, and new cases could emerge among people who have received the vaccine in recent weeks.

"Some of the ACIP members are concerned that this additional reporting may show cases of men or older persons, who are currently not represented in the reporting of the six cases, and so they didn't think the entire picture of risk has been developed," said Schaffner.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Monday that the agency is now looking through a handful of reported adverse events after use of the J&J vaccine.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday that he expects the vaccine to come back on the market with restrictions or warnings after Friday's meeting.

J&J Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Paul Stoffels said Tuesday the company believes the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks.

"The safety and well-being of the people who use our product is our number one priority and we strongly support awareness of the signs and symptoms of this extremely rare event to ensure the correct diagnosis, appropriate treatment and expedited report by health care professionals," Stoffels said.

Romero, who also serves as Arkansas' secretary of health, said there could be additional recommendations for states and physicians around how to manage J&J doses that have already been distributed. He said he believes states will accept the committee's recommendations.

"My counsel to the governor as we go forward will be, 'Let's see what the CDC says,'" said Romero. "More than likely -- I mean more than 98% -- I'm going to say I agree with the recommendations issued by the committee, and those are the ones we should follow in our state."

Though there is some concern that the J&J vaccine pause will fuel vaccine hesitancy, an Axios-Ipsos poll published Tuesday showed that 88% of Americans think the CDC and FDA were acting responsibly when they recommended the pause.

"I really think, and I really hope that the American public will look at this pause and look at what we have done during this pause as an indication of how safe the vaccine system and the vaccine pipeline is in this country," said Romero.

Will this impact vaccine supply in the US?

President Joe Biden and other officials have said whatever decision is made about the Covid-19 vaccine, it will not hinder the vaccination effort in the US.

The FDA requested Monday that manufacturing of the J&J vaccine be paused at a Baltimore Emergent BioSolutions facility while it conducts an investigation into contamination that affected at least one batch of J&J's vaccine.

"We want to convey to the American public we have two vaccines that are readily available -- the Pfizer and Moderna -- and people should continue to roll up their sleeves to get vaccinated," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said last week.

Walensky said that while the CDC conducts a risk-benefit analysis of the J&J vaccine, the agency has reached out to more than 10,000 providers to inform them about what to watch out for, in case other people experience similar adverse events.

Those who have received the J&J vaccine within the last three weeks have a very low risk of developing the rare blood clot that will decrease over time, the CDC says. The agency recommends those who experience certain symptoms, including sudden, severe headache, leg swelling and shortness of breath, seek immediate medical treatment.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 501652

Reported Deaths: 10024
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34353540
DeSoto32162408
Hinds31977631
Jackson24508383
Rankin22015390
Lee15596235
Madison14597280
Jones13867243
Forrest13461252
Lauderdale11998317
Lowndes11065188
Lamar10522136
Pearl River9547237
Lafayette8557140
Hancock7740127
Washington7443160
Oktibbeha7147133
Monroe6787178
Warren6706176
Pontotoc6677104
Neshoba6642206
Panola6542131
Marshall6476135
Bolivar6323150
Union605794
Pike5824152
Alcorn5676102
Lincoln5439135
George497479
Scott473098
Tippah470381
Prentiss469182
Leflore4663144
Itawamba4640105
Adams4592119
Tate4592111
Copiah448792
Simpson4448116
Yazoo444887
Wayne440072
Covington429094
Sunflower4240105
Marion4232108
Coahoma4168107
Leake408688
Newton381779
Grenada3711108
Stone360664
Tishomingo360092
Attala331789
Jasper330165
Winston314691
Clay308977
Chickasaw301067
Clarke292594
Calhoun279447
Holmes267987
Smith264150
Yalobusha234547
Tallahatchie228251
Greene219449
Walthall218764
Lawrence213140
Perry205956
Amite205256
Webster203046
Noxubee186840
Montgomery179657
Jefferson Davis172243
Carroll169338
Tunica160039
Benton149239
Kemper141941
Choctaw133326
Claiborne132837
Humphreys129638
Franklin120328
Quitman106528
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson94734
Sharkey64220
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 820312

Reported Deaths: 15407
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1148731924
Mobile726221339
Madison52362697
Shelby37640350
Baldwin37266552
Tuscaloosa35120612
Montgomery34123740
Lee23540246
Calhoun22236488
Morgan20958378
Etowah19838500
Marshall18381304
Houston17394412
St. Clair16078339
Cullman15468293
Limestone15354199
Elmore15271286
Lauderdale14323295
Talladega13851283
DeKalb12664261
Walker11221370
Blount10207176
Autauga10048148
Jackson9877184
Coffee9211191
Dale8904185
Colbert8877201
Tallapoosa7093198
Escambia6778134
Covington6715183
Chilton6648162
Russell637559
Franklin5969105
Chambers5612142
Marion5010127
Dallas4979200
Pike4796106
Clarke475884
Geneva4575127
Winston4522103
Lawrence4327117
Bibb425386
Barbour357876
Marengo338390
Monroe331664
Randolph329864
Butler326796
Pickens316584
Henry312866
Hale311688
Cherokee302960
Fayette294180
Washington251651
Cleburne247760
Crenshaw245375
Clay243368
Macon234863
Lamar224847
Conecuh186353
Coosa180340
Lowndes175464
Wilcox168939
Bullock151744
Perry138940
Sumter133238
Greene126744
Choctaw88527
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Partly Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 58°
Columbus
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 59°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 55°
Starkville
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 59°
High pressure will dominate our weather forecast for our Tuesday. This means we will see some good weather for our Tuesday. However, some rain and thunderstorms will be in our weather forecast down the line with some more low pressure in our area.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather