• More than two dozen states reacted quickly to Tuesday’s announcement by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, pausing injections while officials review the reports of blood clots.
  • The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will hold an emergency meeting of its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices from 1:30 to 4 p.m. ET Wednesday to review “rare and severe” blood clot cases among people who received the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine.
  • Dr. Janet Woodcock, acting commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, said she expects the pause of the Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine to be “a matter of days.” 
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said that people who took the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine "a month or two ago" should not be concerned about the recommendation to pause production.
  • Dr. Carlos del Rio, executive associate dean at Emory University School of Medicine, said that people who have gotten the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine will likely be OK, but they should be attuned to their body for possible symptoms.
  • Though the cases of severe blood clots after vaccination with Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine were among women, men who received the vaccine should also watch carefully for symptoms of adverse events, Dr. Peter Marks, director of the US Food and Drug Administration's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said Tuesday.
  • Johnson & Johnson has decided to pause vaccinations in all of its clinical trials while they “update guidance for investigators and participants,” according to a statement from the company on Tuesday.
  • Vaccine maker Moderna said in a Twitter post on Tuesday that its Covid-19 shot does not appear to have an association with blood clots.
  • Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective at protecting against Covid and more than 95% effective against severe disease up to six months after the second dose, the company said Tuesday, citing updated data from its phase three clinical trial.
  • A decision on whether to extend emergency use of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to people ages 12 to 15 could be made in “a couple of weeks,” Dr. Peter Marks, director of the US Food and Drug Administration's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said Tuesday.
  • The virus is again surging in parts of the US, but it’s a picture with dividing lines - ominous figures in the Northeast and Upper Midwest, but largely not in the South, and experts are unsure what explains the split, which doesn’t correspond to vaccination levels, with some pointing to warmer weather in the Sun Belt, while others suspect that decreased testing is muddying the virus’s true footprint.
  • At least 73,192 new child Covid-19 cases were identified through testing last week, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a slight increase in new reported cases from the week before, with children representing 13.5% of all cases in the US.
  • Nearly 37% of the US population - about 122 million people - have received at least one dose of vaccine, and nearly 23% - more than 75 million people - are fully vaccinated, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data updated Tuesday showed.
  • The rollout of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Europe “has been paused by the company,” Stella Kyriakides, the European Union's health commissioner, tweeted Tuesday, shortly after US health authorities recommended halting distribution of the vaccine in the US.
  • The surging COVID-19 outbreak in Brazil is increasingly affecting younger people, with hospital data showing that last month the majority of those in intensive care were aged 40 or younger, according to a new report.
  • Hospitals in Canada’s most populous province are canceling surgeries, transferring patients and preparing for the possible need to ration care as they face a surge in Covid-19 variants that is putting more pressure on Ontario’s healthcare system than at any other time in recent history.
  • The German federal cabinet has agreed to amend the country's Infection Protection Act that enables the federal government to impose nationwide curfews and lockdowns during the pandemic, with the so-called "federal emergency brake" automatically overruling measures in the country’s 16 states if the seven-day-incidence of new infections surpasses 100 per 100,000 residents in an administrative district for three consecutive days.
  • The rate of new COVID-19 infections in Sweden has jumped to the second-highest in Europe after land-locked San Marino, data showed on Tuesday, as the Scandinavian country which has shunned lockdowns throughout the pandemic faced a third wave of cases.
  • The World Health Organization on Tuesday urged countries to suspend the sale of wild animals at so-called wet markets as an emergency measure, saying 70% of all emerging infectious diseases in humans have wildlife origins.
  • The IRS plans to begin sending monthly payments from the new $3,000 child tax credit in July, Commissioner Charles Rettig said Tuesday during a hearing with the Senate Finance Committee.
  • Overall, 55% of Americans say their financial circumstances are about the same now as a year earlier, and 30% say their finances have improved, according to a new poll from Impact Genome and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, but 15% say they are worse off.
  • Criminals are targeting a new federal program that pays up to $9,000 in funeral costs for a loved one who died of Covid-19, the Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday, with fraudsters contacting people and impersonating government agents, offering to register them for assistance.

SPECIAL – US Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

  • One person who experienced a rare type of blood clot after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has died and another is in critical condition, Dr. Peter Marks, director of the US Food and Drug Administration's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said during a virtual briefing on Tuesday.
  • Clotting events that may be linked to Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine could be a result of an immune response, Dr. Peter Marks, said on Tuesday, and acting Food and Drug Administration Director Janet Woodcock called this the “leading” theory on the clotting response right now.
  • There appears to be similarities between the rare blood clotting events possibly associated with Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine and the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, Dr. Peter Marks said today.
  • The US Food and Drug Administration and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quickly made the recommendation to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine - even without giving states a heads up - because of concern that rare blood clot incidents might be treated inappropriately.
  • The rare blood clotting events among six people who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine do not appear to be connected to birth control, but the events are still being investigated, Dr. Peter Marks said Tuesday.
  • Dr. Peter Marks said the recommendation to pause the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over blood clot concerns is "not a mandate," but no governors pushed back urging the White House’s weekly call with governors on the pandemic, an official familiar with the call said.
  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists announced on Tuesday that pregnant and postpartum women who wish to get vaccinated are encouraged to receive either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines rather than the Johnson & Johnson.
  • The new announcement on the pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine means all federal health channels - mass vaccination sites, community health centers and the like - that were previously administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will immediately stop for the time being, according to a federal health official.
  • CVS and Walgreens are pausing use of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration recommended pausing use of the vaccine.
  • Walmart Inc. said it stopped administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration said they would pause use of the shot.
  • Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson told reporters he has “confidence” in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but the state will pause its use of the vaccine to allow the medical community to better prepare for the rare reactions that have been documented.
  • New York state is pausing the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine statewide, New York’s top health official said Tuesday, with all prescheduled appointments scheduled for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine honored with the Pfizer vaccine.
  • The District of Columbia health department is canceling appointments for those scheduled to receive Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine from today until Saturday.
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who received the Johnson & Johnson shot himself along with the city’s top health official, said all city-run sites will stop administering the vaccine in light of federal recommendations.
  • The Johnson & Johnson vaccine may return to being used in the US following the recommendation to pause production, but more investigation is needed, and it would be premature to comment, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a White House press briefing on Tuesday.
  • Reports of clotting cases potentially connected to Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine should not be overblown, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said Tuesday, explaining “I want to be cautious not to over-interpret the report because it is an early report and we don’t have details about these six cases.”
  • The US Food and Drug Administration and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation to pause the use of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine provides time to investigate the extremely rare cases of blood clots following vaccination, Dr. Anthony Fauci said today.
  • The risk of developing blood clots from Covid-19 is greater than the apparent likelihood of developing them from Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine, Dr. Purvi Parikh, a New York-based allergist and immunologist, has worked as an investigator for other Covid vaccine trials, including Pfizer, said today.
  • The decision to recommend pausing the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was done out of “an abundance of caution” and made by the US Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday.
  • White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein offered some of the Biden administration’s first on-camera reaction to news that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would be paused following concerns regarding severe blood clot cases, saying the administration is taking it “extremely seriously” and largely declining to forecast what it means for reopening the economy.

US Outbreak

  1. Nationally, reported cases in the US are growing again after a steep fall from the post-holiday peak in January, and in the past two weeks, new confirmed cases have jumped about 11 percent.
  2. New case reports have fallen by about 11 percent in Georgia over the past two weeks, and in Alabama, new cases are down roughly 29 percent, with a 17 percent decline in hospitalizations.
  3. Michigan hospitalizations reached 3,953 on Monday, surpassing the state's November/December spike, and among the biggest drivers of infections in the state, health officials have said, are outbreaks among youth athletes and those associated with K-12 schools, with 312 ongoing or new school outbreaks reported this week, which includes infections linked to classrooms, after-school activities and sports.
  4. New York City will spend $120 million to expand its summer-school program this year by launching a free five-day in-person enrichment program open to all K-12 public-school students to help with learning loss during the pandemic, city officials said Tuesday.
  5. The interruption of the Johnson & Johnson vaccination could have a significant impact on college students, who were key targets for getting one shot before leaving school at the end of the spring semester.