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Fauci sees decision on Johnson & Johnson vaccine coming by Friday

Administration of the company’s vaccine remains paused while experts gather information

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Photo (c) Longhua Liao - Getty Images
Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that he expects a decision on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to come by the end of the week. 

The company’s vaccine was recently paused after it was linked to a blood-clotting disorder that Dr. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, has described as “extraordinarily rare.” Six of the 7.5 million Americans who received the company’s single-dose vaccine developed blood clots in their brain within one to three weeks of vaccination. Experts have been taking this time to collect more information about the vaccine. 

Fauci, who heads up the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said experts are likely to decide this week either to restrict the vaccine’s use or to add some sort of warning label. 

“I don’t want to get ahead of the CDC and the FDA and the advisory committee, but I would imagine that what we will say is that it would come back, and it would come back in some sort of either warning or restriction,” he said Sunday on “Meet the Press.”

Last week, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices -- the expert panel advising the CDC on the matter -- ended a meeting by saying it couldn’t make a recommendation because the group needed more information. 

“I do not want to vote on this issue today,” committee member Dr. Beth Bell, clinical professor of global health at the University of Washington, said at the Wednesday meeting. “I just don’t feel we have enough information to make an evidence-based decision.”

The ACIP said possible recommendations include continued use in vaccinations, discontinued use, or use only for certain groups.

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