ATLANTA — Friday, advisors to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will gather to decide on the future of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Possible options health experts can choose to include: extending the pause, resuming fully, or restricting use based on factors such as gender or age.
One route suggested is the possibility of having Johnson & Johnson be a male only vaccine. Another recommendation option could limit use to adults 50 years of age and older only.
Conversations like these are happening as the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) discuss how to handle cases of blood clots possibly linked to the vaccine. These cases involved six women and at least one male, between the ages of 18 and 48.
Issuing a warning label is another possibility, according to hematologist Dr. Manila Gaddh.
Gaddh is a part of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory, as well as an associate professor at Emory University's Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology.
"If the authorities come up with stipulations and added warnings, then we can expect, with those added precautions, the rate [of blood clot cases] will perhaps go down even further," said Gaddh. "With the authorities being more selective about people who get the vaccination, all in all I think this should reaffirm our faith in the vaccination program and the processes that are being followed to monitor the adverse effects of the programs."
Last Tuesday, the CDC decided to pause use of the vaccine. Until further guidance is announced, distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will remain that way.