Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday that he expects the pause on administering the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine to last for days or weeks, not months.
“I don’t think this is going to drag out,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on NBC’s “TODAY.”
Federal health authorities recommended the pause Tuesday while they investigate a potential link between the vaccine and very rare blood clots. Six women between the ages of 18 and 48 developed clots after receiving the vaccine. One person died, and another is in critical condition, the Food and Drug Administration said.
Fauci reiterated Wednesday that the move was “out of an abundance of caution.”
“Don’t worry very much. It’s a very, very rare event,” he said to people who have gotten the vaccine. He added that symptoms have occurred within six to 13 days so those who have gotten theirs weeks ago can mostly rest easy.
Those who have gotten the vaccine more recently should watch out for symptoms like abdominal pain and shortness of breath, Fauci said.
Critics have said that the pause could make those already vaccine-skeptical even more hesitant. But Fauci said the decision proves that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and FDA are taking no chances on safety.
“At the end of the day, it could actually diminish hesitancy by saying, ‘Boy, those people they are looking at that very carefully, and when they say something’s safe you can believe it’s safe,'” Fauci said. “So, it goes both ways.”