Transcript for CDC principal deputy director discusses future of Johnson & Johnson vaccine
Okay, Steve, thanks very much. Let's bring in Dr. Anne Schuchat. Thank you for joining us this morning. Let's start with the CDC meeting today. What exactly are you looking for? What's the earliest the pause could be lifted? The advisory committee on immunization practices will carefully review T evidence so far and consider risks and benefits and advise us about how they interpret these findings. I want people to know we take vaccine safety very seriously and want to share what we know when we know it. I can't say how long the pause will last, but a key component of why we are on this pause is so that we can educate the clinicians about how to diagnose and treat this condition because the usual treatment could make things worse. To be clear there's no evidence yet you haven't established that there's a link between the vaccine and these blood clotting events, have you? No. So respond then to the critics who say the risk of not going unvaccinated, of getting sick and dying from that are greater thank getting vaccinated. Why not put out a warning instead of a pause. One reason for the pause was to make sure clinicians knew how to diagnose and treat it but also report it because we don't know if we've missed some cases, whether the risk is 1 in a million or perhaps more than that. Fortunately we have a lot of pfizer and modern vaccines available right now and we know it's frustrating and inconvenient but appointments are being rescheduled right now so I know this is really difficult for people and may be frightening but we want to get to the bottom of it and make sure that we can protect people. The pandemic is serious. We know about 7 million people have gotten this Johnson & Johnson vaccine. What's your message for them? If you got the vaccine more than three weeks ago and you're feeling fine, you know, you really have an extremely low risk and don't need to be concerned but if you got it more recently, keep an eye out for a severe headache that doesn't go away, bad stomach pain that doesn't go away, difficulty breathing which is always a sign to let your doctor know or seek medical attention and possibly swelling and pain in a leg. Those are the kinds of things that you should be on the lookout for and let your doctor know you got the j&j vaccine a couple weeks ago. You say we have plenty of modern and pfizer vaccine right now so what is this going to mean for the pace of vaccinations right now in the United States? We've been averaging more than 3 million doses administered a day and we think we can stick to that. In fact, this week we're actually distributing more pfizer and moderna than the last couple weeks, 28 million versus an average of about 25 million. So we believe we can stay on track to meet the president's goal of 200 million doses by his 100th day. Bottom line, do you expect that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will eventually be administered again? I can't predict that but I am very optimistic. Dr. Schuchat, thank you so much for your time. Robin.
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