Dr. Anthony Fauci said he hopes the temporary pause on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine raised Americans' confidence in federal agencies' concern for safety, rather than increased vaccine hesitancy.
"The CDC and the FDA are the gold standard for both safety and the evaluation of efficacy, I think in the long run what we're going to see -- we'll probably see it soon -- is that people will realize that we take safety very seriously," the White House chief medical adviser told "This Week" anchor George Stephanopoulos on Sunday.
"We've looked at it. Now let's get back and get people vaccinated. And that's what we're going to be doing, get as many people vaccinated as we possibly can," Fauci added.
On Friday, an independent government advisory panel voted in favor of resuming Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccinations but with a new general warning about the potential of extremely rare but serious blood clots.
The Centers of Disease and Control and the Federal Drug Administration officially lifted the 10-day pause following the panel recommendation, issuing new fact sheets about potential side effects to medical providers and J&J vaccine recipients.
According to the CDC, 15 confirmed cases of rare blood clots were reported so far after nearly 8 million administered Johnson & Johnson shots. All of the cases reported were in women under 60, and three died.
"COVID-19 infection carries a much higher risk of blood clots —147,000 in 1 million hospitalized COVID-19 patients experience clots, compared to roughly two in 1 million individuals who received the J&J vaccine," American Society of Hematology President Martin S. Tallman, MD, said in a statement Friday after the pause was lifted.
At least 31 states have resumed J&J vaccinations since Saturday morning, including the state of Indiana, where the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was one of the largest venues where the shot was administered for the first time since the suspension.
This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.