The current pause on Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccination is likely to be lifted by Friday, Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s medical adviser and an infectious disease expert, said on Sunday.
In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Fauci said he believes the vaccine, which caused blood clotting in six women, one of whom died, will be brought back with either a “warning or restriction.”
“I do think we will get it back in some manner or form,” he said of the vaccine. “But what I'm sure, I hope, is that we don't see anything extended beyond Friday. We need to get Friday some decision one way or the other.”
“I don't want to get ahead of the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and the [Food and Drug Administration] and the advisory committee but I imagine what we would see, it would come back [with] some sort of either warning or restriction,” he said.
He elaborated in an interview on ABC News’ “This Week” that he believes the vaccine will be back “with some sort of indication, a little different than we were before the pause.”
According to Fauci, the coronavirus variants still put people at risk, and that the nation has to be “prepared to boost” the current vaccine effort with one that’s “variant specific.”
“The [variant B-117], the one that is dominant now in the United States, is very well taken care of by our vaccines,” Fauci told CNN. “Even some of the ones that are more problematic, the vaccine may not completely protect against it, but almost certainly… protects against very severe disease, death particularly.”
“We always have to be on the alert that one of those variants might come here and we have to be prepared to boost it with the vaccine or a variant-specific vaccine,” he added.
In his “State of the Union” interview, Fauci lamented vaccine hesitancy, saying the argument that pandemic restrictions threaten our freedom “doesn’t make any sense.”
“These restrictions that are put on by public health recommendations are things that they're very concerned about. We are all concerned about that,” he said. “We share that concern. But the way you get rid of those restrictions is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly and as expeditiously as possible because when that happens, for absolutely certain, you will see the level of virus in the community go down and down to the point where you would not have to have those public health restrictions.”
“So it's almost paradoxical,” he continued. “On the one hand, they want to be relieved of the restrictions. On the other hand, they don't want to be vaccinated. It almost doesn't make any sense.”
Fauci also said he expects vaccination of children to soon begin.
“I would be surprised if we didn't have the high school kids vaccinated by the fall term,” he said. “As we get later into the year, towards the end, by the time we get to the first quarter of 2022, we will be able to vaccinate children of any age, hopefully before then.”
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