Health panel urges restarting J&J vaccinations

People rest in the observation area, at right, after receiving COVID-19 vaccinations under the 94-foot-long, 21,000-pound model of a blue whale, in the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life, at the American Museum of Natural History, in New York, Friday, April 23, 2021. Appointments are no longer necessary at any of the coronavirus vaccination sites run by New York City. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday that anyone eligible for the vaccine could walk up to any of the city's mass vaccination sites and get a shot. The change comes as supplies of the vaccine have increased. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

By The Associated Press

A U.S. health panel says it’s time to resume use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, despite a very rare risk of blood clots. Out of nearly 8 million people vaccinated before the U.S. suspended J&J’s shot, health officials uncovered 15 cases of a highly unusual kind of blood clot, three of them fatal. All were women, most younger than 50.

But advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday the vaccine’s benefits outweigh that serious but small risk — especially against a virus that’s still infecting tens of thousands of Americans every day. The government will rapidly weigh that recommendation in deciding next steps.

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