Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 Suspension in the USA

A vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is displayed at South Shore University Hospital. 
Courtesy of Mark Lennihan/AP

A vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is displayed at South Shore University Hospital. Courtesy of Mark Lennihan/AP

Since April 14th, the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine (J&J) has been suspended in all 50 states from further usage due to rising concerns that the vaccine is linked to blood clots.

It’s been reported that seven people, one man, and six women, out of the more than 7 million people who’ve received the J&J vaccine, have experienced very rare blood clots in their brains.  One woman who developed blood clots died.

Since then, Johnson & Johnson has come under fire for falsely accusing Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines of having the same problems, the only other two Covid-19 vaccines authorized for usage in the USA. In a public statement in regards to the blood clot cases, Johnson & Johnson wrote there had been reports of blood clots for “all Covid-19 vaccines.” However, out of the three vaccines, only the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has reports of blood clots.

Because of Johnson & Johnson’s statement, many critics fear that it will stoke even more fear and doubt in getting a Covid-19 vaccine given that there are still significant numbers of people in the US who are hesitant to do so. With Covid-19 mutations spreading fast, achieving herd immunity, a term referring to when enough people become immune to a disease to make its spread from person to person unlikely, will be harder to achieve if fewer people are willing to be vaccinated.

As for the future of the J&J vaccine, it’s fair to say that usage of the vaccine will continue. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the president, predicts that its suspension will end this Friday, April 24th, and will be reintroduced into the market with restrictions or warnings.