US health panel urges restarting J&J COVID-19 vaccinations

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Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine (Photo: Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc.)

(AP) — 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.

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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.