April 13 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Lauren Said-Moorhouse, Samantha Tapfumaneyi, Melissa Mahtani, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 2:19 AM ET, Wed April 14, 2021
29 Posts
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10:22 a.m. ET, April 13, 2021

CVS and Walgreens pause administration of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine 

From CNN's Ashley Ahn and Samira Said

CVS and Walgreens are pausing use of Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration recommended pausing use of the vaccine. 

Six cases of a "rare and severe" type of blood clot were reported among more than 6.8 million doses of the vaccine administered in the United States.

All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination, according to a joint statement on Tuesday from Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC and Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

"We can confirm we’re pausing the administration of all J&J vaccines immediately, will share more details soon,” Walgreens spokesperson Rebekah Pajak tells CNN.

“We are immediately implementing a pause in the use of the Johnson and Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine per the recommendation from federal health agencies,” CVS spokesperson Ethan Slavin tells CNN. 

10:31 a.m. ET, April 13, 2021

Johnson & Johnson release a statement addressing Covid-19 vaccine concerns

Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images
Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson released a statement addressing concerns over their vaccine after the FDA and CDC paused use of the vaccine in the US "out of an abundance of caution."

The company said they "are aware of an extremely rare disorder involving people with blood clots in combination with low platelets in a small number of individuals," and are reviewing these cases with US and European health authorities.

J&J stressed that there have so far been six cases out of more than 6.8 million doses administered.

If you have already received the vaccine, "and develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination" you should contact your health care provider, the company said.

Read the full statement here:

"The safety and well-being of the people who use our products is our number one priority. We are aware of an extremely rare disorder involving people with blood clots in combination with low platelets in a small number of individuals who have received our COVID-19 vaccine. The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases out of more than 6.8 million doses administered. Out of an abundance of caution, the CDC and FDA have recommended a pause in the use of our vaccine.
In addition, we have been reviewing these cases with European health authorities. We have made the decision to proactively delay the rollout of our vaccine in Europe.
We have been working closely with medical experts and health authorities, and we strongly support the open communication of this information to healthcare professionals and the public.
The CDC and FDA have made information available about proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot. The health authorities advise that people who have received our COVID-19 vaccine and develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.
For more information on the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, click here."
10:17 a.m. ET, April 13, 2021

NOW: CDC and FDA officials give an update following Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause

A healthcare worker loads a syringe with the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine on March 26, in Buffalo, West Virginia.
A healthcare worker loads a syringe with the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine on March 26, in Buffalo, West Virginia. Stephen Zenner/Getty Images

The US Food and Drug Administration and the US Centers for Disease Control is holding a media call right now after the agencies recommended this morning that the US pause Johnson & Johnson vaccine use over blood clot concerns.

The six reported cases were among more than 6.8 million doses of the vaccine administered in the US.

All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred six to 13 days after vaccination, according to a joint statement on Tuesday from Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC and Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

10:03 a.m. ET, April 13, 2021

Moderna says its Covid-19 vaccine is not associated with blood clots

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

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. 

The statement comes just a few hours after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration recommended that the use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine be paused in the United States due to rare events involving blood clots.

"A comprehensive assessment of the totality of the available safety data for mRNA-1273 after over 64.5 million doses administered globally does not suggest an association with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) or thrombotic events," Moderna tweeted, referring to its vaccine, named mRNA-1273.

Moderna's safety analyses was performed used data through March 22, 2021, according to the tweet.

 

10:03 a.m. ET, April 13, 2021

FDA explains how it's reviewing Pfizer's request to expand vaccine to children ages 12 to 15

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard and Michael Nedelman

The US Food and Drug Administration confirmed to CNN on Tuesday that its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee is not expected to meet as part of Pfizer/BioNTech's request on Friday to expand the age range for its Covid-19 vaccine to includes children ages 12 to 15.

When companies apply for emergency use authorization, or EUA, of their vaccines, the advisory committee typically reviews data and makes a recommendation to the FDA. Previously, it has taken an average of three weeks from submission to authorization for Covid-19 vaccines.

But for this Pfizer/BioNTech request, which would be an amendment to an existing EUA, the committee is not expected to be involved. This could mean a quicker turnaround than the initial authorization, but the FDA did not give a timeline for the decision.

"While the FDA cannot predict how long its evaluation of the data and information will take, the agency will review the request as expeditiously as possible using its thorough and science-based approach," FDA spokesperson Abigail Capobianco told CNN in an email. 

"Based on an initial evaluation of the information submitted, at this time, the agency does not plan to hold a meeting of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) on this request to amend the EUA for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, which was discussed and recommended for authorization at a VRBPAC meeting in December 2020."
9:52 a.m. ET, April 13, 2021

White House says J&J pause won't have a "significant impact on our vaccination plan"

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

The recommended pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will not impact the Biden administration’s vaccination plan, White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said Tuesday. 

“This announcement will not have a significant impact on our vaccination plan: Johnson & Johnson vaccine makes up less than 5 percent of the recorded shots in arms in the United States to date,” Zients said. 

 “Based on actions taken by the President earlier this year, the United States has secured enough Pfizer and Moderna doses for 300 million Americans. Over the last few weeks, we have made available more than 25 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna each week, and in fact this week we will make available 28 million doses of these vaccines. This is more than enough supply to continue the current pace of vaccinations of 3 million shots per day, and meet the President’s goal of 200 million shots by his 100th day in office – and continue on to reach every adult who wants to be vaccinated. We are working now with our state and federal partners to get anyone scheduled for a J&J vaccine quickly rescheduled for a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine,” he continued.

 

9:49 a.m. ET, April 13, 2021

Scotland will allow travel to England and Wales starting April 26

From Amy Cassidy

Scotland will allow its citizens to travel to and from England and Wales starting April 26, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on Tuesday, as “encouraging” recent data allows for an acceleration of easing lockdown measures. 

Northern Ireland is due to review its restrictions later this week, “so we will review our approach to travel there before 26 April and we hope that that can be freed up to,” she said, adding: “It may still be necessary in future to have temporary travel restrictions to and from places with high rates of Covid, either within Scotland or other parts of the UK.”

“Travel restrictions to and from other parts of the common travel area – including the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands – will also be kept under review. We also hope to agree rules for international travel on a four nations basis across the UK,” Sturgeon continued.

Friday will see the "Stay Local" rule lifted, meaning Scots will be able to leave their local area “for the purposes of outdoor socialising, recreation, and informal exercise.” Six adults from up to six households will also be able to meet outdoors, up from four adults from two households as is currently the rule. 

April 26 will see wider travel permitted, as well as the reopening of all shops and pubs, restaurants and cafes – indoors as well as outdoors. 

 “It is worth noting that the restricted indoor opening of hospitality on 26 April will be three weeks ahead of any indoor opening of hospitality in England," Sturgeon said. 

Cases in Scotland are at the lowest level since September, she said, and have declined by more than 85% since early January. The nation has seen higher infection rates than in other parts of the UK in recent weeks, however cases are now “falling consistently” with a 40% reduction in the last two weeks alone, she added.

Most of the country has been in lockdown since Dec. 26. Out of a population of 5.4 million, 2,682,706 people have been vaccinated against Covid-19 with a first dose and 605,126 people with a second dose as of Tuesday, the First Minister said.  

9:39 a.m. ET, April 13, 2021

Expert urges people to get vaccinated: "The risk-benefit ratio is way in favor of benefit"

From CNN’s Virginia Langmaid

Even with news of potential issues from Covid-19 vaccines, vaccination in general is still worth the risk, Emory University executive associate dean of medicine Dr. Carlos del Rio told CNN on Tuesday. 

“I want to emphasize that the risk-benefit ratio is way in favor of benefit. The vaccines have saved thousands of lives already,” del Rio said. “We’ve seen mortality in the US decline despite cases going up, and that’s because we’re vaccinating people.”

Earlier this morning, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration recommend US pause Johnson & Johnson vaccine use over blood clot concerns "out of an abundance of caution." The six reported cases were among more than 6.8 million doses of the vaccine administered in the US.

Del Rio said it is still important to continue vaccinations and for federal agencies to understand any potential side effects. 

“I would recommend people get vaccinated. I would not say ‘do not get vaccinated just because of this very rare side effect,’” he said. “I would say that it’s the right thing to do for the CDC and the FDA to hold the vaccinations with the J&J vaccine, until we understand further what’s going on.”

9:48 a.m. ET, April 13, 2021

A look at Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine, by the numbers

From CNN Health’s Deidre McPhillips

Doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine are prepared at a clinic in Los Angeles, California, on March 25.  
Doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine are prepared at a clinic in Los Angeles, California, on March 25.   Mario Tama/Getty Images

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration today recommend US pause Johnson & Johnson vaccine use over blood clot concerns "out of an abundance of caution." The six reported cases were among more than 6.8 million doses of the vaccine administered in the US.

Since we're talking a lot about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine today, here's a look at it by the numbers:

  • Since the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine was authorized for emergency use in the United States at the end of February, it has accounted for about 1 in every 17 shots administered in the United States.  
  • Of the nearly 121 million people who have received at least one dose of Covid-19, less than 6% — fewer than 7 million — have received Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose shot. 
  • Federal allocations of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have varied widely week-to-week, with close to 5 million doses available for states to order from one week and fewer than 500,000 doses available another. Allocations of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, however, have remained largely consistent. 
  • Data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that states and other jurisdictions have received more than 16 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, suggesting that they’re sitting on more than 9 million unused doses. And even 16 million doses delivered to states and jurisdictions is a fraction of the 100 million doses the company has committed to provide to the US by the end of May.  

According to Andy Slavitt, the White House’s senior adviser for Covid-19 response, the US is “not dependent” on additional Johnson & Johnson vaccine to reach its vaccination goals. 

“If you do the math, there is plenty of supply to continue to vaccinate Americans at 3 million per day, and then some. That's not to mention the fact that there are many doses that have already been distributed into states," Slavitt said at a virtual White House briefing on Monday.