The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested Thursday night that people get COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer or Moderna instead of Johnson & Johnson’s.
The latest suggestion comes after a group of scientists and clinicians recommended to the CDC that it “prefer” the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) over Johnson & Johnson’s. The decision was made in response to growing worries about a rare but potentially fatal blood clotting disease that could develop within three weeks after receiving Johnson & Johnson.
Members concluded that, given the safety and widespread availability of the other vaccinations in the United States, as well as the severity of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine’s rare side effects, the CDC should “prefer” that patients obtain either Pfizer’s or Moderna’s instead of Johnson & Johnson’s.
Johnson & Johnson said in a statement on Thursday that it “remains optimistic in the overall positive benefit-risk profile of its COVID-19 vaccine.”
Dr. Mathai Mammen, the worldwide head of research and development, said in a statement that “the safety and well-being of those who use the Johnson & Johnson vaccination continue to be our number one concern.” “We value today’s conversation and look forward to engaging with the CDC on next measures.”
According to updated data presented at the CDC meeting, the blood-clotting disorder linked to Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine has occurred more frequently and in more demographics and age groups than previously reported (though it remains sporadic overall, with 54 cases reported through August out of approximately 16 million people who have received J&J). Women between the ages of 30 and 49 are the most vulnerable (about 1 in 100,000 doses of J&J). According to the CDC presentation, nine people have died in the United States due to the blood-clotting condition, with all of them requiring hospitalization. According to an updated Food and Drug Administration fact page, about 15% of persons who suffer from the illness, or one in seven, will die.
Johnson & Johnson vaccines are widely used in low- and middle-income nations and are frequently the only vaccine available. Yet, according to Our World in Data, as the US rushes to improve population protection with booster doses, just 7.6% of persons in low-income nations have received a dose of COVID-19 vaccination.
COVID-19 continues to pose a severe health danger to those who have not been immunized. According to CDC data from September, unvaccinated people were 14 times more likely than fully vaccinated people to die from COVID-19.
The CDC’s warning comes as health officials tighten its COVID-19 booster recommendations in light of the new omicron strain. Though the effectiveness of all vaccines is predicted to be reduced when it comes to omicron, health experts claim boosters will restore protection.