The single-shot Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine will likely be approved again by Friday for continual use in the U.S. but with “some sort of warning or restriction or risk assessment,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday.
“My estimate is that we will continue to use it in some form. I doubt very seriously if they just cancel it. I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Fauci’s prediction comes after health officials halted use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine across the U.S. last week because six women, out of the roughly 7 million who have received the vaccine thus far, developed blood clots after getting the injection. When it is approved for use again, Fauci said the vaccine will likely come with a warning.
“I don’t think it’s just going to go back and say, ‘OK, everything’s fine. Go right back.’ I think it’ll likely say, ‘OK, we’re going to use it but be careful under these certain circumstances,’” he said in his NBC interview.
Pausing distribution of the shot gave physicians time to learn how to appropriately treat a recently vaccinated patient who is showing signs of a blood clot. It has also given health officials time to determine what restrictions should be imposed on its use, if any.
Advisers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are scheduled to meet on Friday to discuss the status of the vaccine, and Fauci expects the panel will make a determination that day.
“I hope that we don’t see anything extended beyond Friday. We need to get … some decision one way or the other,” he said in a separate interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Fauci also discussed the possibility of those vaccinated ― with any of the coronavirus vaccines available ― needing to get a booster shot at some point. He estimated that public health officials will know the answer to that by the beginning of fall.
“We’ll have a pretty good idea whether we’ll need the boost,” he said in his NBC interview.
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