Johnson & Johnson drops after US health officials call for pause in use of company's COVID-19 vaccine

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  • Johnson & Johnson shares by 3.5% early Tuesday after the US FDA and CDC called for a pause in using J&J's COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The agencies will review reported cases of a "rare and severe" type of blood clotting in six people who receive J&J's vaccine.
  • Shares of rival vaccine makers Moderna and Pfizer climbed after the joint announcement.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson fell early Tuesday after the US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention jointly recommended a pause in the use of the company's COVID-19 vaccine as they review reported cases of blood clots in people who had received the shot.

The FDA said the agencies are reviewing data involving cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in six women after they received the vaccine. At least 6.8 million doses of J&J's vaccine have been administered in the US.

"We are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution," the FDA and the CDC said.

J&J shares fell by as much as 3.5% when they hit $156.04 ahead of Tuesday's opening bell, then later pared the loss to 2.4%. Meanwhile, shares of rival vaccine makers jumped after the news. Moderna shares surged 7.1% to $149.40 and Pfizer climbed by 1.6% before trimming the gain to 1.2%.

US stock futures turned lower following the announcement. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell by more than 100 points with pressure from J&J, its constituent.

The CDC said the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet Wednesday to further review the clotting cases and assess their potential significance and the FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates.

"Until that process is complete, we are recommending this pause," the agencies said. "This is important to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot."

J&J shares have risen by more than 10% over the past 12 months.

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