United States Halts Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Over Rare Blood Clots

Injections of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose coronavirus vaccine came to a sudden halt in much of the country on Tuesday after federal health agencies called for a pause in the vaccine’s use following the emergence of a rare blood clotting in six recipients.

All six were women between the ages of 18 and 48 and all developed the illness within one to three weeks of vaccination. One woman died and a second woman in Nebraska has been hospitalized in critical condition.

Nearly seven million people in the United States have received Johnson & Johnson shots so far, and about nine million more doses have been shipped out to the states, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution,” Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, and Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the C.D.C., said in a joint statement. “Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare.”

While the move was framed as a recommendation to health practitioners, the impact was immediate. Within two hours of the announcement, Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio, a Republican, advised all health providers in his state to temporarily stop giving Johnson & Johnson shots. New York, Connecticut, Nebraska and several other states quickly followed suit.