At the news conference, Dr. Marks drew a link between the two vaccines, saying the clotting cases were “very, very similar.” The vaccines are based on similar technology, but AstraZeneca’s has not yet been authorized for emergency use in the United States.
April 16, 2021, 9:16 p.m. ET
The vast majority of the nation’s vaccine stock comes from two other manufacturers, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Those two vaccines use a different technology than Johnson & Johnson’s and AstraZeneca’s. More than 180 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna have been administered, according to the C.D.C.’s latest statistics, and federal officials stressed on Tuesday that they had seen no evidence of the blood clots that led to the pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — or of any other significant safety concern.
The decision is a fresh blow to Johnson & Johnson. Late last month, the company discovered that workers at a Baltimore plant had accidentally contaminated a batch of its vaccine, forcing the firm to throw out millions of doses. With federal certification of that factory in doubt, Johnson & Johnson’s shipments dropped to one-fourth or less of what had been expected, a severe disappointment to White House and state officials.
Jeffrey D. Zients, the White House coordinator of the pandemic response, said that the federal government was still shipping out 28 million Pfizer and Moderna doses this week and that about three million shots were being administered daily.
But the White House had been hoping for an even better showing. At one point this spring, officials were planning on weekly shipments of more than four million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine beginning this month.
Because Johnson & Johnson is one dose and easily stored, it was destined for specialized vaccine outreach programs. In Colorado and California on Tuesday, mobile vaccine clinics in rural areas were canceled. In Chicago, vaccination events for restaurant employees and aviation workers were postponed indefinitely. At colleges in Ohio, New York and other states, where the one-dose vaccine offered a chance to quickly inoculate students before they left campus for summer, appointments were called off en masse.
With only two vaccines instead of three, federal officials expect to have enough doses to cover at most 230 million adults by the end of May, roughly 30 million shy of the total adult population. But despite public campaigns to convince them, a certain share of adults are expected to refuse shots, so that supply may cover all the demand.