J&J: What’s Next for the World

One possibility: US regulators could follow the lead of Europe, which limited the AstraZeneca vaccine to certain age groups; or it may add cautionary clauses, The Atlantic reports.

In the worst-case scenario, the US could manage without the Johnson & Johnson vaccine—but it would be a profound setback on a global scale. 

  • That’s especially key with vaccines like the J&J and AstraZeneca shots—which are far easier to ship & store than alternative vaccines.

World Reactions So Far:

  • South Africa and the European Union joined the US in temporarily pausing their rollouts of the J&J vaccine, the BBC reports.
  • South Africa—the first country to administer the vaccine—has not reported any blood clot cases; nearly 300,000 health workers there have already received the jab.
  • The news is yet another unwelcome disruption for the EU's vaccine rollout; while the J&J vaccine hasn’t been used there yet, deliveries had just begun when the news of the pause hit.

The WHO told Reuters it is monitoring the situation, and will wait to see the results of reviews by US and European regulators before making any announcements.
“We were really counting on these to help vaccinate the world,” Céline Gounder, a physician at Bellevue Hospital in New York, told the Atlantic.

The Atlantic’s take: If the FDA lifts the pause on the J&J jab “we’ll need to rehabilitate it with clear and nuanced messaging.” 

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