Dr. Anthony Fauci defended the decision to pause the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control on Tuesday.
“I don’t think it was pulling the trigger too quickly,” Fauci said, adding “[W]e’re ruled by the science, not by any other consideration.”
Fauci and COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus] Response Coordinator Jeff Zients asserted the decision came entirely from the FDA and the CDC, not the White House.
“That’s the science and we want the science agencies to lead with science and there’s no reason for us to be involved in any of the scientific decisions,” Zietz said.
Fauci said concerned people who had received the coronavirus vaccine from Johnson and Johnson should watch for any unusual symptoms, even though any issues with the vaccine were rare.
“Just tell people to just watch out for not feeling very well,” he said, warning individuals to watch for headaches, shortness of breath, chest discomfort, and neurological syndrome.
“Obviously if you have something as serious as a seizure, that’s pretty clear,” Fauci added.
Fauci said it was premature to speculate whether or not the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would return to the market, but that a decision would come in “days to weeks.”
He said Americans should only be encouraged about receiving the other vaccines, asserting there are no concerns about the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines currently on the market.
“I think it’s a very strong argument for safety actually,” Fauci said about the pause announcement.