The US Food and Drug Administration announced that it would unpause the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after studies showed that it only produced deadly blood clots in females.
Johnson & Johnson had previously put the use of the vaccine on hold after six individuals had developed Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis. However, a thorough investigation by the CDC and the FDA determined that all six initial cases had occurred exclusively in women — leading both organizations to consider the vaccine safe enough to continue.
“We examined all of the cases in which a recipient of the vaccine developed CVST,” said Frederick Whitman, a scientist for the FDA, “and in each of the cases, the person affected was female. After making that discovery, my peers and I reasoned that Johnson & Johnson should be allowed to resume distribution of their COVID-19 vaccine.”
Since receiving the good news, Johnson & Johnson has ramped up production of the vaccine to account for the time lost during the investigation. “Once we found out these blood clots were just a woman thing, we upped production as fast as we could,” said Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky.
When asked if his statement could be construed as problematic, the CEO was quick to point out that the median age of the woman who developed blood clots was 37 and that no women who are still hot would likely be affected.
“Of course we want to minimize the health risk of blood clots in those taking our vaccines,” said Gorsky. “But if someone has to get them… well, the name of the company is Johnson & Johnson for a reason.”