For many individuals, developing unanticipated side effects as a result of the COVID-19 vaccination is the titular reason for their hesitation. For some Americans who received the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine, their worst fears are coming true. Federal health agencies in the United States announced on Tuesday (April 13) they plan to halt the use of the vaccine after six different women developed blood clots, including one who passed away. 

The Food and Drug Administration announced this pause, explaining that a half-dozen patients have reported developing a “rare & severe type of blood clot” following receiving the vaccine. These clots were observed in addition to a reduced platelet count, making the usual treatment for blood clots using the blood thinner heparin potentially "dangerous." 

“Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare,” tweeted the agency in a joint statement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday.

Six women between the ages of 18 and 48 were among the individuals who developed clots within about two weeks of vaccination. One woman has since passed away and another in Nebraska was hospitalized in critical condition. 

People who received the J&J vaccine and are experiencing symptoms like severe headaches, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks of receiving the vaccine are recommended to contact their doctor immediately. The FDA and CDC hope the pause will push other states to do the same 

“We are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution,” the FDA said. “Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered.” 

Nearly 7 million people in the United States have received the J&J vaccine. The other two authorized US vaccines, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, are not affected by the pause. 

We'll keep you updated with more information regarding this recall of the vaccination as it rolls in.  

 [via]