October 20, 2021

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Vaccine Experts Say J & J’s COVID-19 Vaccine is Safe Despite Risk of Blood Clots

Vaccine Experts Say J & J's COVID-19 Vaccine is Safe Despite Risk of Blood Clots

A federal advisory committee on Friday recommended resuming vaccinations with Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine despite a small risk of blood clots.

In a vote of 10-4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices reaffirmed its previous guidance that the vaccine should be used for people aged 18 and over.

The vote effectively ends a “hiatus” recommended on April 12 by experts from the CDC and the US Food and Drug Administration. Their concern arose from six cases of a rare and disconcerting bleeding disorder observed among recipients of the single injection vaccine. All six of these cases involved women between the ages of 18 and 48.

The blood clots were unusual because they were accompanied by a dangerously low level of platelets, the building blocks of blood clots.

The top six cases jumped to 15 when security experts returned and looked at the records of adverse reactions to the J&J vaccine. All of these cases involved women and all but one were under the age of 50.

Even so, the advisory committee said the risk was still minimal: effectively 1.9 cases per million people in the general population, or 7 cases per million women under 50.

The jury rejected a plan that would explicitly call on women between the ages of 18 and 50 to “be aware” of the risk of clotting disorder and clarify that they “can choose” another COVID-19 vaccine.

Group members warned that such language could be seen as requiring these women to give explicit consent to take the Johnson & Johnson injection, or that it could force vaccination clinics to carry alternative vaccines, thereby imposing logistical and logistical restrictions. other types that could hinder vaccination.

The FDA granted emergency use clearance for the J&J vaccine in February.