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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Immunization Committee is meeting Friday to consider lifting a pause on use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
 
The pause was widely implemented last week following the discovery of six U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clots in people who had received the shot.
 
On April 13, the CDC, in a joint statement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, recommended a pause on use of the vaccine, “out of an abundance of caution” and to give experts an opportunity to examine the blood clot cases and see if any additional cases were found.
 
CDC officials have said since that “a handful” of other cases were being investigated, but offered no details, except to say they were encouraged there was a relatively small number of them.
 
The six cases of blood clots previously identified – out of seven million doses of the vaccine delivered – occurred in women between the ages of 18 and 48. They developed symptoms, most often headaches, six to 13 days after vaccination. One vaccine recipient, a Virginia woman, died in March.
 
The Washington Post reports authorities are leaning toward lifting the pause. Earlier this week, Europe’s drug watchdog group, the European Medicines Agency, said that while it found a possible link between the vaccine and the rare blood clots, the vaccine’s benefits outweigh its risks.  
 
It said it would recommend its use with an additional warning included in the information about the vaccine.
 
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meeting Friday follows an emergency meeting held last week, the day after the announcement of the pause. At that time, members of the panel said they had too little time to make a recommendation.
 
Advisors to the committee tell ABC News it is expected to make a final recommendation on the vaccine later Friday.


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