CDC Recommends Pfizer and Moderna as Preferred Vaccines Over Johnson & Johnson
On Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended Americans avoid receiving the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine when others are available, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna versions. The J&J vaccine is linked with the potential to trigger a rare blood clotting issue – the likelihood of which appears to be more prevalent than once believed, according to health experts.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices unanimously endorsed the decision to avoid the J&J vaccine, which came after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provided updated information on the blood clot risks. The panel also mentioned the
J&J vaccine shows evidence of reduced effectiveness compared to other brands and hinted this may have factored into the avoidance recommendation.
"Today’s updated recommendation emphasizes CDC’s commitment to provide real-time scientific information to the American public.”
– CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, in a statement
Currently, over 50 people have been hospitalized due blood clots believed to be linked to the J&J vaccine, and nine people have died. The J&J vaccine will still remain on the market. It will continue to be available to those “unable or unwilling” to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, according to the CDC. The FDA noted that the benefits of vaccination still outweigh the risks.
The J&J vaccine will still remain on the market. It will continue to be available to those “unable or unwilling” to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
What is Next?
Approximately 16 million Americans have received the J&J vaccine so far, according to CDC data. Since the CDC and FDA have already authorized “mix and match” shots, these individuals are encouraged to seek a booster of another brand (e.g., Pfizer- BioNTech or Moderna). There is still much unknown about the blood clotting issue, although the CDC says women under the age of 50 are at a higher risk.
According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Anyone seeking to learn more about the blood clotting issue and vaccine guidance can visit the CDC website.
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