Fauci says U.S. pause on J&J COVID-19 shot should not prompt vaccine hesitancy

FILE PHOTO: Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director at the National Institute Of Allergy and Infectious Diseases attends a U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to examine the COVID-19 response, focusing on an update from federal officials, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 18, 2021. Anna Moneymaker/Pool via REUTERS

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(Reuters) – Top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci reaffirmed that the COVID-19 shots authorized in the United States are safe, after U.S. regulators paused shipments of Johnson & Johnson’s shot amid reports it can cause blood clotting.

U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky urged Americans to keep their appointments for shots from Moderna Inc as the U.S. government works to boost availability of the other authorized shots to offset the pause on J&J dose shipments.

“We believe that by empowering Americans with data in facts, we will strengthen the public’s trust in government, and increased their confidence in the vaccines,” said White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients at a press briefing on Wednesday.

U.S. federal health agencies on Tuesday recommended pausing use of J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine for at least a few days after six women under age 50 developed rare blood clots after receiving the shot.

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