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When data linked a potentially fatal blood-clotting disorder to Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J’s) coronavirus vaccine, the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention did what they have promised to do, and what they nearly always do in such situations: they advised doctors and pharmacists to temporarily halt use of the vaccine while they investigate the matter.

The pause is expected to last just a few days. The risk of developing this potential side effect is expected to be small relative to the risks associated with the coronavirus for unvaccinated people. Six clotting cases have been reported in the US so far, out of the 6.5-million J&J vaccinations that have been administered. It’s not even clear yet if the condition resulted from the shot. The FDA is expected to clear the company’s vaccine for continued use, possibly with exceptions for people who have a high risk of clotting, and almost certainly with guidance on how to watch for...

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