US CDC Downgrades J&J Vaccine

The CDC will now recommend Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines over Johnson & Johnson’s for all adults—after evidence has mounted about the latter’s links to rare blood clots, NPR reports.

  • The agency made the announcement after “robust discussion” by a panel of advisers about the vaccine’s connection to a blood clotting problem called TTS.
  • The problem is still extremely rare, but the links are clearer. It’s been found at a rate of about 1 case in every 100,000 doses given to women 30 to 49 years old—the group at highest risk. About 15% of TTS cases have been fatal.
  • Vaccine supply a factor: CDC advisers said the abundance of mRNA vaccines in the US was a key calculation. Also: J&J lost its 1-dose advantage after the CDC recommended boosters for it this fall. 
  • J&J is still better than no vaccine, the CDC says. In a statement, J&J said it “remains confident in the overall positive benefit-risk profile” of its vaccine. 


Meanwhile: Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is up to 4X more likely to cause the rare side effect of heart inflammation than Pfizer’s, according to a Danish study published yesterday, per Reuters.

Related: 

J&J, Sinopharm, Sputnik V shots weaker against Omicron, study shows – Reuters

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