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U.S. health officials took an 1

1-day break for COVID-19 vaccinations using a single dose of Johnson & Johnson on Friday after scientific advisers decided the benefits outweighed the rare risk of blood clots. (April 23)

AP Internal

Thirteen more cases of an unusual blood clotting disorder have been identified among people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but no one else has died and no new cases have been observed among people vaccinated after the government’s 11-day break in J&J photos.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Wednesday that 28 people have already been identified with a disorder called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS).

To qualify for a diagnosis, someone must have a blood clot, known as a thrombosis, in an unusual location, such as the brain, and low levels of platelets in their blood, a condition known as thrombocytopenia.

The combination is extremely rare. The fact that this happened to so many people within about two weeks of vaccination “suggests a plausible causal link,” Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, deputy director of the CDC’s Immunization Safety Service, told an advisory committee. of the agency on Wednesday.

So far, three people have died from TTS, and one remains in intensive care.

The J&J vaccine was delivered to nearly 8 million Americans before its use was temporarily suspended last month. All TTC patients received the shot before the break, although the 13 additional cases have only recently been identified.

Only about 1 million people have received the single-shot vaccine since J&J resumed use on April 23. Since then, only about 150,000 J&J photos have been taken of women under the age of 50, the highest risk group for TTC, according to CDC data.

In earlier reports, only one patient with TTS was male; there are now 6 men among the 28 patients. Patients ranged in age from 18 to 59 years, with more adult patients recently identified. Women appear to be at the highest risk in the 1930s and 1940s, while men are not grouped into a certain age range, Shimabukuro said.

The most developed symptoms are 6 to 15 days after vaccination, after the normal side effects usually subside.

The CDC initiated the break in part because it wanted to warn vaccine recipients of the possible risk of TTS and also to warn doctors not to treat TTS patients with heparin, a drug commonly used to treat blood clots but which can to make these patients worse.

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There are no confirmed cases of TTS among the 135 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 110 million doses of Moderna vaccine that were delivered, as both were approved for use in December.

A vaccine produced by AstraZeneca and developed by Oxford University that is available in Europe but not in the United States causes a similar problem. Both J&J and AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines are delivered by a harmless vaccine, a different technology from that used among other vaccines.

It is unclear whether the risks from TTS are higher among those who received a J&J shot or those from AstraZeneca-Oxford, Shimabukuro said.

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The J&J vaccine is currently the only vaccine that requires a single dose, making it ideal for certain groups, including those who do not like shots and those who are unlikely or unable to receive two doses.

The benefits of the shot continue to outweigh the rare risk of TTS, concluded a subcommittee of the advisory group, which heard Shimabukuro’s presentation.

But two members of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices said they were not sure that was the case, especially at a time when two other vaccines were available to Americans.

“I remain very concerned,” said Dr. Pablo Sanchez, a professor of pediatrics at Ohio State University-Columbus National Children’s Hospital. “One case is too much.”

He suggested that the vaccine be used only in people over 60 who do not appear to be at risk for TTS.

Dr. Sarah Long, a professor of pediatrics at Drexel Medical College and St. Christopher Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, said she would like women under the age of 60 to be asked for written consent before receiving the J&J vaccine. make sure they are aware of the possible risks.

Other members of the commission did not comment, but may do so as data and possibly more patients accumulate over time.

The CDC collects reports on the adverse effects of the vaccine at vaers.hhs.gov.

Contact Karen Weintraub at kweintraub@usatoday.com.

Patient health and safety coverage at USA TODAY is made possible in part through a grant from the Masimo Foundation for Health Ethics, Innovation and Competition. The Masimo Foundation does not provide editorial data.

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