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Dr. Fauci Predicts Use of Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine Will Resume with ‘Warning or Restriction’

·3 min read

Dr. Anthony Fauci believes that the United States will soon resume use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

Speaking on CNN's State of the Union over the weekend, Fauci — the nation's top infectious diseases expert — said that he hopes a decision about the future of the single-shot vaccine will be made this coming Friday.

"I think by that time we're going to have a decision. I don't want to get ahead of the CDC and the FDA and the advisory committee, I would imagine that what we will see is it will come back, and it will come back in some sort of either warning or restriction," Fauci said.

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control recommended a temporary halt on inoculations "out of an abundance of caution" after six people in the U.S. developed a rare blood clotting disorder within two weeks of getting the shot.

RELATED: Worried About Safety After Getting the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine? Here's What to Know

The cases were isolated and statistically low — the condition, called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, or CVST, occurred in just six people out of the more than 6.8 million who have received the vaccine — but the two health agencies asked for a pause to review data on the cases.

"Hopefully by Friday we'll get back on track one way or the other," Fauci said of the pending decision.

Al Drago/Getty Dr. Anthony Fauci

Dr. Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the CDC, previously said that officials recommended the pause in part to communicate to physicians that CVST is a potential issue to be on the lookout for.

"For people who recently got the vaccine within the last couple of weeks, they should be aware to look for any symptoms," Schuchat said at a briefing last week. "If you received the vaccine and develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath, you should contact your health care provider and seek medical treatment."

RELATED: All U.S. Adults Now Eligible to Receive COVID Vaccine — and Half Have Already Had at Least One Dose

Fauci previously stressed that CVST is "is a very, very rare event" — and that people who have already received the shot shouldn't be "overly worried."

"The bracket of time when this occurs was between 6 and 13 days. It is between one and two weeks," he said during a Today appearance last week. "If you got 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 have just received the vaccine to be overly worried about this. This is a rare occurrence," he added. "The pause is just an abundance of caution to scope out the situation a little bit more closely."

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As of Monday, over 131 million people in the United States — half of all adults — have received at least one vaccine dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Additionally, more than 84 million people, just under one-third of all adults, have been fully vaccinated.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.