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Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

An advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday delayed making recommendations on a decision to pause the use of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine, saying it needed more time to examine the data and possible risks, NBC News reports.

Driving the news: Researchers said they did not have enough data to analyze the potential relationship between the J&J vaccine and the rare cases of severe blood clots that six women developed within two weeks of receiving the shot. It will be at least a week before the panel reconvenes.

  • Members of the independent Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices argued that extending a pause on the vaccine would give more time to collect data and make sure health care providers are appropriately treating people who develop blood clot-related symptoms.
  • The CDC said Tuesday there are too few cases to determine whether there are any subpopulations particularly at risk.

The big picture: Nearly 7 million Johnson & Johnson doses had been administered in the U.S. when the Food and Drug Administration recommended an immediate halt of the use of the one-shot vaccine on Tuesday. All 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico paused or recommended a pause on the use of the vaccine, per the New York Times.

  • "The committee’s assessment comes at a crucial time, while the nation is racing to vaccinate as many people as possible to curb the steady accumulation of cases, particularly as worrisome variants gain traction," the Times noted.
  • Yes, but: The White House said in a statement Tuesday that the pause "will not have a significant impact" on the administration's vaccination plans, noting that it has secured enough Moderna and Pfizer doses for 300 million Americans.

Go deeper

Apr 14, 2021 - Health

Fauci: J&J pause shows how seriously FDA takes vaccine safety

President Biden's chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci suggested Wednesday that the decision to pause use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine could actually bolster vaccine confidence, calling it "an affirmation that safety is a primary consideration when it comes to the FDA and CDC."

Why it matters: Tuesday's decision to pause the J&J rollout has set off a chain reaction of fears — both about the safety of the vaccine and about whether the FDA is overreacting, considering that only six cases of rare blood clots have been reported out of 7 million vaccine doses administered.

Apr 14, 2021 - Health

The new vaccine threat is fear itself

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The FDA’s decision to pause the use of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine has set off a chain reaction of fear — about the safety of the vaccine, and about whether the FDA is overreacting — that's causing unnecessary drama just as the vaccine effort is finally picking up speed.

The big picture: Throughout the pandemic, the public and the media, and sometimes even regulators, have struggled to keep risks in perspective — to acknowledge them without exaggerating them, and to avoid downplaying them because other people will exaggerate them.

Apr 14, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

What the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause means for Minnesota

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

A "pause" in use of Johnson & Johnson vaccines isn't expected to have a significant impact on Minnesota's vaccine rollout.

  • "We'll see about a 5% or so drop off [in supply] but it will not impact our desire and our nation-leading efforts to get 80% vaccinated," Gov. Tim Walz told reporters.

Driving the news: The FDA recommended that states immediately stop use of the one-dose vaccine following reports that six women — out of a pool of nearly 7 million shot recipients — experienced an "extremely rare" blood clot disorder within weeks of their shot. Go deeper (1 min. read)

  • The guidance, issued "out of an abundance of caution," will allow health officials to take a closer look at the data and make a recommendation for identifying and treating at-risk individuals.

Between the lines: The vast majority of doses administered in Minnesota — more than 90% — are Moderna or Pfizer.

  • Yes, but: MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm acknowledged that while the pause is a sign the public health system is working, the headlines could present more challenges for officials' efforts to overcome vaccine hesitancy.

What if means for you: If you are signed up for a Johnson & Johnson shot, the provider should reach out about postponing or rescheduling the appointment.

  • If you received yours and experience severe headaches, abdominal pains, leg pain or trouble breathing, call your doctor.

This story first appeared in the Axios Twin Cities newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.