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Quote of the Day

"Bees are sold by weight, like cheese" – A beekeeper, trying to get bees to NYC. File that under things we didn't think we needed to know.

USA Minus J&J

The Story

US health officials have hit 'pause' on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.


Reports of a rare blood-clotting disorder. Out of nearly 7 million people vaccinated with J&J's single-dose, six women reported blood clots within two weeks of rolling up their sleeves. They experienced a "stroke-like" illness (read: severe headache, abdominal or leg pain, and shortness of breath) – different from the flu-like symptoms many people get post-jab. One woman died, and another is in critical condition. Now, the CDC and the FDA are recommending the one-dose shot be paused out of an "abundance of caution." And J&J is working with health experts on addressing concerns.

Aren't blood clots common?

They can be. The CDC estimates 300,000 to 600,000 people develop blood clots every year. They can happen to anyone, but the likelihood increases for people who smoke, take birth control, are pregnant, sit for long periods of time, or have a genetic predisposition to clots. But the six cases related to the J&J vaccine involve an extremely rare clot. The women developed cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) – a blood clot in the brain. They reportedly also had low levels of blood platelets. And these blood clots cannot be treated like regular ones (think: blood thinners would actually make CVSTs worse).

Good to know.

A CDC committee is holding an emergency meeting today to review the cases. And, along with the FDA, said the pause could be over in "a matter of days." The FDA will continue to investigate. The recommended pause is so health care providers can recognize the symptoms and plan for the "unique treatment required with this type of blood clot." If this concern sounds familiar it's because there's also a "possible link" between blood clots and the AstraZeneca vaccine in Europe – which uses the same process as J&J (adenovirus) to trigger the body's immune response. Pfizer and Moderna, on the other hand, use mRNA.

So what now?

Don't panic. Health officials still say the benefits of getting the vaccine outweigh the risks. If you've gotten the J&J vaccine in the last two weeks, monitor your symptoms and speak to your health care provider if needed. If you're signed up to get the J&J shot, check with your local health department or your vaccination site. Some states (NY, NJ, CA) and drug stores (Walgreens, Rite Aid, and CVS) have already decided to temporarily stop giving out the J&J shot and some are rescheduling patients for the Pfizer or Moderna shots. Speaking of, Pfizer has reportedly said it can deliver 10% more doses to the US by the end of next month. And the White House says the J&J pause won't have a "significant impact" on its vaccination plan.


In the middle of the US's largest vaccination campaign, blood-clotting disorders are an unwelcome side effect. But amid vaccine hesitancy, experts want to get it right – and reiterate that the benefits outweigh the risks, especially when dealing with a pandemic that's already killed over 560,000 people in the US.

PS: There's a lot of talk about COVID-19 vaccines right now. Here's a breakdown of the top four.

And Also...This

Where there are updates…

Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Earlier this week, Officer Kim Potter shot and killed Daunte Wright – a 20-year-old Black man – during a traffic stop. His death was ruled a homicide. But the police said it appeared to be an accident and that she tried to fire her Taser instead of her gun. The community is calling for justice. Potter was a 26-year police vet, who'd served as a local police union president, and was reportedly training a new hire at the time. She was also among the first officers to respond to a deadly police shooting in 2019, advising two officers to turn off their body cams after a 21-year-old mentally ill man was killed. Yesterday, Potter resigned along with the police chief, saying it was in everyone's "best interest." Note: By resigning, they could still keep their pension and work for another police department. Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott said he hoped the resignations would "bring some calm to the community" that's seen nightly protests following Wright's death.

  • Will there be justice: Officers involved in police shootings are rarely held accountable for killing someone. In Kenosha, WI, the officer who shot Jacob Blake seven times last August has returned to work and won't face any discipline.

  • Community in mourning: The shooting came a mere 10 miles from the trial over George Floyd's death. And as it turns out, Floyd's girlfriend was reportedly once Wright's teacher. The connections speak to the collective trauma the Black community in Minnesota is experiencing – a trauma Wright's parents and aunt spoke to yesterday.

Who's marking a new date on the cal…

President Biden. Today, he's expected to formally announce that all US troops will leave Afghanistan by September 11, 2021. The decision passes the original May 1 deadline set by former President Trump. And will keep over 3,000 American soldiers serving in the longest US war ever. Early last year, the US and Taliban signed a peace deal – a major step in potentially ending the war. But talks have stalled and the Taliban has threatened new attacks in Afghanistan if the US isn't out of there by May. Now, amid concerns that the Afghan gov is vulnerable, the US has decided to stay put a little longer to help keep things calm. But the Biden admin says no matter what happens, the US will "complete its drawdown" before 9/11. And it warned the Taliban against any new attacks.

What's thinking about moms...

The White House. Yesterday, it marked Black Maternal Health Week with its first ever presidential proclamation. For the last four years, it's been recognized every April 11-17. Black women are about three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women – due to things like a lack of good prenatal care, underlying health conditions, and systemic racism in health care. Now, the Biden admin apparently wants to expand implicit bias training for health care providers. And for states to take cues from Illinois to expand postpartum Medicaid coverage. Together, the moves could help reduce mortality rates for Black mothers.

PS: These inequities in health care have everything to do with systemic racism. Let us explain.

Who's making history…

Onovu Otitigbe-Dangerfield. She's the first Black valedictorian in Albany High's 152-year history. The 17-year-old said it's an honor but hopes she's "not the last." Caps off.

Who's taking it back to the '90s...

Cardi B and Reebok.

What's better than the Fab Five…

The Fab Six.

Skimm Reads

"The Lost Apothecary" by Sarah Penner

This week, we've got a very special Skimm Read thanks to our friends at Book of the Month. Use code SKIMM to join now and get a copy for just $9.99. And then pick from five books every month to get one delivered right to your door.

When Caroline, a present-day woman on a trip to London, finds a glass vial in the Thames, she decides to figure out where it came from – and begins to research the London of 1791. Her investigation leads her to the story of Nella, who ran an apothecary with a secret mission: to help women poison the men who have wronged them. In case you were, you will not be able to put it down.


TTK: Wish-cycling

That's what it's called when you want to be a good recycler in theory, but produce extra waste in reality. We wish we didn't have to tell you that. Our guide will help you sort through what can and should get recycled. Spoiler alert: your cheesy, greasy pizza boxes don't pass go.

Skimm Your Life

Oh hey. Some news: our weekly Press Pause newsletter is getting a little makeover. Starting tomorrow (mark your cals), we'll be delivering our new and improved newsletter – now called Skimm Your Life – to your inbox every Thursday. Because we know you're busy, and you don't have time to read one million online reviews. So each week, we'll Skimm your shopping cart, streaming queue, bookshelf, fridge, and more. We'll help you discover things quicker, so you can spend your downtime smarter. Sign up here so you don't miss out.

And some even better news: to celebrate, we're giving a few lucky winners an amazing bundle of our fave products that help Skimm Your Life. Think: a Revlon One-Step Blowdryer, a Ninja blender, an Echo Dot and lottsssss more. Enter to win now…and may the odds be ever in your favor.


Here are today's recs to help you live a smarter life...

1. A better-than-ever credit card. The Ascent says this card won't charge any interest until late 2022. And it just extended its 0% APR balance transfer offer from 12 billing cycles (read: months) to 18 billing cycles. And 18 is greater than 12. Run the numbers.*

2. A contact- and contract-free way to protect your home. With SimpliSafe, you'll get a customized security system sent right to your door. Which you can easily (not kidding) install in under an hour. Without committing to anything long-term. Give it a try.*

3. Clean, tinted moisturizer that looks like makeup and acts like skincare. Slip Tint gives you glowy, sheer, lightweight, all-day coverage. And helps your skin stay hydrated and protected from the sun. It's (sorry). PS: Skimm'rs get 10% off for a limited time. Glow for it.*

4. Cleaning tablets that'll do the heavy lifting for you. Because you can't really scrub your washing machine, dishwasher, and garbage disposal by hand. These tablets work to power away soap scum and grime, leftover detergent, and icky odors. You can use them monthly to keep everything spick and span. Mission accomplished.

5. Problem-solving products under $50 that you'll use forever. Like drawer dividers to keep clothes neatly stacked and a wine filter that may help prevent hangovers. Cheers.

*PS: This is a sponsored post.


We like to celebrate the wins, big and small. Let us know how your friends, neighbors, coworkers (and yes, even you) are making career moves, checking off goals, or making an impact in the community.

Sharing secrets with...Lila M (FL). She's 15 and started Her Secret Identity, an Instagram movement to help challenge the assumptions that society puts on women, while encouraging them to reveal their true selves. Sheryl Sandberg, Jodi Picoult, and Gloria Estefan have joined the movement. Check it out.

Curtain call...Meghan H (PA). She founded Steel City Opera, a new opera company in Pittsburgh that's preparing for its new show, "After Life." Learn more.

(Some) Birthday...Christina Baker (CT), Sarah Michelle Gellar (CA), Andrew Callaway (NY), Amy Schneider (NJ), Aditi Babel (UK), Abby Teinert (TX), Tatiana Sarkhosh (WA), Cher Moore (IL), Jami Carson (MN), Claire Thile (NY), Lynn Fine (CA), Sarah Fine (CA), Katey Houck (DC), Colleen Yurkanin (PA), Sharon Wherry (NE)

*Paging all members of theSkimm. Reach out here for a chance to be featured.

Skimm More

We texted with Luke Bryan about everything from his favorite account to follow on social media (hint: it's not Blake Shelton) to what his American Idol audition song would be.

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Skimm’d by Maria del Carmen Corpus, Mariza Smajlaj, Clem Robineau, and Julie Shain