Half of US adults have been administered 1 COVID-19 vaccine dose; researchers identify cause of clotting events associated with AstraZeneca vaccine; Anthony Fauci, MD, the chief medical advisor to the president, says he believes a decision on whether to resume the J&J vaccine will come by Friday.
Reported by the Associated Press, the United States reached a milestone Sunday as 50% of all US adults have now received at least 1 COVID-19 shot. Following news of the global coronavirus death toll topping 3 million worldwide, nearly 130 million people 18 and older have received a vaccine dose nationwide, with the US vaccination rate currently at 61.6 doses per 100 people. Notably, states with the highest vaccination rates have a history of voting Democratic and supporting President Joe Biden in the 2020 election, compared with Republican supporting states such as Alabama and Tennessee who have the lowest rates across the country.
A study published this past Friday in the New England Journal of Medicine unveiled the cause behind abnormal, rare clotting events associated with the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, finding that antibodies for clot-promoting platelet factor 4 (PF4) on enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were present in 5 of the 7 patients who developed blood clots. Reported by CIDRAP, researchers recommended that people presenting with PF4 antibodies should not undergo platelet transfusions due to the risk of worsening the blood clotting, with use of a nonheparin anticoagulant agent and intravenous immunoglobulin instead recommended for treatment of the first blood clot occurrence.
Speaking Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and chief medical adviser to President Biden, Anthony Fauci, MD, said that he believes a decision on whether to end the pause of the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Johnson & Johnson will come by Friday, when the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices meets. Stressing that these clotting events were significantly rare, Fauci and other federal officials still recommend those who have received the J&J shot to be alert for symptoms such as severe headaches, movement difficulty, chest discomfort, and difficulty breathing.