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CDC panel puts Johnson & Johnson vaccine in last place

Vials of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccine Associated Press/Photo by David Zalubowski, file

CDC panel puts Johnson & Johnson vaccine in last place

An advisory committee of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted unanimously on Thursday to recommend Pfizer’s and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines over Johnson & Johnson’s. The group revisited the vaccine due to additional data it can cause a rare but serious blood clot issue called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS). The recommendation does not take the J&J vaccine out of circulation, and it is up to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky whether to accept the panel’s advice.

What is TTS? The Food and Drug Administration confirmed that the incidence rate for the syndrome is higher than originally thought in the spring, occurring most in women between ages 30 and 49, about once for every 100,000 doses. The CDC confirmed 54 clot cases in men and women, nine of whom died. Thirty-six patients were admitted into intensive care units. The clots form in unusual places such as veins draining blood from the brain. Common symptoms include severe headaches, abdominal pain, and nausea a week or two after getting the J&J dose. Because Pfizer and Moderna use mRNA technology, experts say they do not carry the risk of causing blood clots.

Dig deeper: Listen to Anna Johansen Brown’s report on how health officials monitor negative vaccine reactions on The World and Everything in It podcast.

Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a WORLD reporter and a graduate of the World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College. She resides in Washington, D.C.


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