Johnson & Johnson drops after US health officials call for pause in use of company’s COVID-19 vaccine

johnson & johnson vaccine
Administering a COVID-19 vaccine in Reading, Pennsylvania.

  • Johnson & Johnson shares fall Tuesday after the US FDA and CDC called for a pause in using J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine.
  • There were reports of a “rare and severe” type of blood clotting in six people who received J&J’s vaccine, including one fatality.
  • Shares of rival vaccine makers Moderna and Pfizer climbed after the joint announcement.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson fell Tuesday after the US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention jointly recommended a pause in the use of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine as they review reported cases of blood clots in people who had received the shots.

The FDA said the agencies are reviewing data involving cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in six women after they received the vaccine. The agencies in a joint media call said one case was fatal and one person is in critical condition. At least 6.8 million doses of J&J’s vaccine have been administered in the US.

“We are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution,” said the FDA and CDC.

Separately, J&J said Tuesday it will ‘proactively’ delay the rollout of its vaccine in Europe.

J&J shares fell 2.2% and declined by as much as 3.5% during the premarket session. J&J shares put pressure on the Dow Jones Industrial Average which slumped by more than 100 points. Meanwhile, shares of rival vaccine makers jumped after the news. Moderna shares surged 7.5% and Pfizer climbed by 1%.

The CDC said the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet Wednesday to further review the clotting cases and assess their potential significance and the FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates.

“Until that process is complete, we are recommending this pause,” the agencies said in the statement. “This is important to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.”

J&J shares have risen by more than 10% over the past 12 months.

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