Moderna defends its COVID-19 vaccine after Johnson & Johnson 'pause'

Over 64.5 million doses of Moderna's vaccine have been administered around the globe

Moderna Inc. defended the safety of its COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday after federal health officials called for a 'pause' in using Johnson & Johnson's single-dose shot to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. 

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JNJ JOHNSON & JOHNSON 170.27 +2.18 +1.30%

After reviewing "available safety data" from millions of administered doses, Moderna said there is nothing to suggest an "association with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) or thrombotic events" and the vaccine, mRNA-1273.

Shares climbed, while J&J fell. 

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A "comprehensive" safety analysis of the vaccine was performed using data through March 22, 2021, Moderna officials said in a statement. 

Additionally, Peter Marks, FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) Director, also commented on the drugmaker and Pfizer. "Of more than 180 million doses of $MRNA and $PFE Covid vaccines administered and there haven't been any cases of blood clots/low platelets." 

To date, over 64.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine have been administered around the globe. In February, the Massachusetts-based biotechnology company announced it was ramping up a global manufacturing plan from 600 million to 700 million doses this year, aiming to build supply up to 1 billion doses in 2021, and 1.4 billion doses in 2022.

A vial of the Moderna vaccine. (Getty Images)

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Pfizer and BioNTech SE's stock prices also climbed. 

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PFE PFIZER INC. 40.21 +0.56 +1.41%
BNTX BIONTECH SE 179.95 -6.18 -3.32%

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said they were investigating unusual clots that occurred 6 to 13 days after the J&J vaccination. 

The clots occurred in veins that drain blood from the brain and occurred together with low platelets. All six cases were in women between the ages of 18 and 48; there was one death and all remained under investigation.

The reports appear similar to a rare, unusual type of clotting disorder that European authorities say is possibly linked to another COVID-19 vaccine not yet cleared in the U.S., from AstraZeneca.

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Astra-Zeneca has also had its vaccine curbed in Europe. 

More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been given in the U.S., the vast majority with no or mild side effects.

The Associated Press and Fox News' Kayla Rivas contributed to this report.