Markets Fall Amid Worries Over Johnson & Johnson’s Vaccine


Federal health officials have called for an immediate halt in using Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine, after recipients in the U.S. suffered blood clots within two weeks of vaccination. It could mark a hurdle for America’s inoculation efforts.

Six women between age 18 to 48 developed a rare disorder involving blood clots. One died and another is hospitalized in critical care. Over all, nearly seven million people in the U.S. have received the J.&J. one-shot vaccine, and nine million more doses have been shipped to states.

The move follows several countries’ limiting the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine after similar reports of blood clotting. Both shots are based on the same viral vector technology; vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna haven’t been associated with such risks. J&J’s share price fell nearly 3 percent in premarket trading and U.S. market futures turned negative on the news.

It’s unclear how much the J.&J. halt will hurt the Biden administration’s goals, with the White House aiming to have enough vaccines to inoculate all adults in the country by the end of May. F.D.A. officials plan to hold a news conference at 10 a.m. Eastern, and you can listen here.

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