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Fauci says Johnson & Johnson vaccine review will take ‘days to weeks’

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director at the National Institute Of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.Pool/Getty

The examination into the safety of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine that has paused the use of the single-shot treatment will be completed within “days to weeks,” Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted Wednesday.

“I believe this is going to take days to weeks, as opposed to weeks to months” for the review by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to be completed, he said on NBC’s “Today Show.” “So I think we’re going to be hearing about a decision, pretty quickly. I don’t think this is something that’s going to drag out.”

The Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration ordered a pause in the use of the J&J vaccine on Tuesday, citing serious reactions by six women out of the 6.8 million people who received the vaccine. One woman died.

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The pause disrupted the vaccination effort in Massachusetts and across the nation, leaving some who were hoping to finally get the medical protection against the virus wondering how long it will take for new appointments to be scheduled.

During the interview, Fauci stressed the incidence of blood clotting that triggered the pause is very rare, and that anyone who got the J&J vaccine a month or more ago is not at risk of developing the health concern.

“The bracket of time when this occurs was between six and 13 days, so it’s between one and two weeks,” Fauci said. “So if you’ve gotten your vaccine several weeks ago, then it makes it even less likely that you should have any concern at all.”

“You don’t want people who just received the vaccine to be overly worried about this. This is a rare occurrence,” Fauci added. “The pause is just as an abundance of caution to really scope out the situation a little bit more closely.”

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All vaccination sites in Massachusetts were ordered by the state Department of Public Health to stop using the J&J vaccine on Tuesday. According to state records, 181,000 people have received the single shot in Massachusetts.



John R. Ellement can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.