CDC advisers recommend Pfizer, Moderna vaccines over Johnson & Johnson


Vaccine advisers to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted unanimously to recommend the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines are preferred over the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to very rare but dangerous blood clot risk.

A total of 54 cases of thrombosis-thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), a rare and severe type of blood clot, had been reported from March through August in the US out of 14.1 million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses administered, according to data presented by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Thursday.

The highest rates, nearly 20 percent, happened in the recipients aged between 30 to 49 years. A total of 26 cases are women aged under 50. Nearly 80 percent of the cases were in white non-Hispanic persons, according to CDC data.

A total of nine deaths from the TTS had been reported through December 9, seven females and two males. All of them are non-Hispanic white, CDC data shows.

The overall death reporting rate is 0.57 per million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine has been linked to TTS which halted its use for 10 days in April. The pause was lifted after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted a safety review.

Back then, the FDA and the CDC had determined the available data show that the vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks in individuals aged 18 years and above.

The majority of Covid-19 vaccines given in the US are Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, with about 284 million Pfizer-BioNTech doses and 186.4 million Moderna doses administered by December 15, according to CDC data.

About 17.2 million Johnson & Johnson shots have been administered since it was approved for emergency use in the US in late February 2021, CDC data shows.