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Carnival and Other Cruise Stocks Fall on J&J Vaccine Pause

Shares of cruise ship companies take a hit following a pause in the J&J vaccine.
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Carnival  (CCL) - Get Carnival Corporation Report and shares of other cruise lines were sliding Tuesday after U.S. health officials suspended use of Johnson & Johnson's  (JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson Report COVID-19 vaccine over concerns about blood clotting.

Carnival was down 1.51% to $27.35, while Royal Caribbean Group  (RCL) - Get Royal Caribbean Group Report was off 2.06%, and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings  (NCLH) - Get Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Report dropped 2.20%.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said they will stop using J&J's vaccine at federal vaccination sites after six people were found to have developed a rare blood clot issue within two weeks of receiving the single-dose shot.

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Johnson & Johnson's vaccine - which was approved by the FDA last month - had formed a key part of the government's vaccine rollout, as its single-shot regime requires standard refrigeration temperatures compared with the ultra-cold conditions required for Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report and Moderna's  (MRNA) - Get Moderna Inc. Report two-shot doses.

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"We are aware of an extremely rare disorder involving people with blood clots in combination with low platelets in a small number of individuals who have received our COVID-19 vaccine," Johnson & Johnson said in a statement.

The company said it has been "working closely with medical experts and health authorities, and we strongly support the open communication of this information to healthcare professionals and the public."

The cruise ship sector, and the travel industry in general, has been battered by the pandemic as consumers and businesses eliminated or severely reduced their travel plans in the face of the disease.

Airline stocks were also losing ground on Tuesday, with United Airlines  (UAL) - Get United Airlines Holdings Inc. Report, American Airlines  (AAL) - Get American Airlines Group Inc. Report and Southwest Airlines  (LUV) - Get Southwest Airlines Company Report all slipping into the red.

CDC data from Monday showed that nearly 190 million Americans have received at least one dose of either the Pfizer, Moderna  or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, with around 64 million people - the majority of them over 65 - now considered fully vaccinated. 

Last week, Johnson & Johnson intercepted a batch of drug substance that would have formed part of its coronavirus vaccine production, with reports suggesting as many as 15 million doses may have been affected.