Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, testifies on April 15, 2021 at the House Select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Susan Walsh | Pool | Reuters
The Chief Medical Officer of the White House, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday he believes the US is likely to resume use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine with a warning or restriction.
Health officials on Tuesday urged states to temporarily suspend the single dose of J&J after six cases of rare brain blood clots were reported in women of approximately 7 million people who received the vaccine in the United States
The cases occurred in women ages 18 to 48 who developed symptoms six to 13 days after receiving the shot. The Food and Drug Administration said the recommendation to stop the vaccine was “out of caution”.
Fauci said he expected a decision on the J&J vaccine as early as Friday when the vaccine advisory panel of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention meets to discuss reopening.
“I guess we will continue to use it in some form,” Fauci said during an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press. “I very seriously doubt they’ll just cancel it. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think there will likely be some kind of warning or restriction or risk assessment.”
“I don’t think it will just go back and say, ‘Okay, everything is fine. Go right back.’ I think it will likely say, “Okay, we’re going to use it, but be careful in these certain circumstances,” Fauci continued.
About 5% of vaccine supplies in the US are lost due to the pause in J&J admission. It is unclear how the hiatus will affect the company’s goal of delivering 100 million cans nationwide by the end of May.
White House Tsar Jeff Zients said the stop would have no material impact on the U.S. vaccination program, which is handing out enough Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to continue the current pace of around 3 million shots a day.
The country reports an average of 3.3 million daily vaccine doses given in the past week, and 3 million if only Pfizer and Moderna are counted. According to CDC data, only around 7.8 million of the total of 202 million recordings in the US are from J&J
“You don’t want to jump in front of yourself and decide that you know the full spectrum. This is one of the reasons they paused and hopefully we’ll know by Friday,” Fauci said during an interview on CBS. “Face the nation.”
– CNBC’s Nate Rattner contributed to the coverage