The U.S. health advisers to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended that Americans should be given the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines instead of the Johnson & Johnson shot that can cause rare but serious blood clots.
The advisers noted that the strange clotting problem has caused nine confirmed deaths after J&J vaccinations while the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines don't come with that risk and also appear to be more effective.
As per a report by The Guardian, all 15 members of CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted in favor of the recommendation after U.S. regulators announced revisions to the shot's fact sheet to warn of the rare clotting syndrome. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky signed off on the advice.
The updated position is likely to deal another blow to the use of the J&J shot, whose uptake had been hurt by manufacturing issues and earlier reports of J&J vaccine recipients, especially women, experiencing blood clots combined with low blood-platelet levels.
As per CDC officials, there have been at least 54 cases of the condition, thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS, among J&J vaccine recipients in the U.S., including nine resulting in deaths. The highest reporting rates are in women under 50.
Members of the panel also said J&J's vaccine is less effective in preventing coronavirus than the other two vaccines authorized for use in the US by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Meanwhile, J&J said in a statement that the safety and wellbeing of those who use their vaccine is its top priority and it looks forward to working with the CDC on the next steps.
About 16.1 million people in the U.S. have received J&J's vaccine, according to the CDC. About 870,000 booster doses of J&J's vaccine have been administered.
More than 113 million people have received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and more than 72 million have received the two-dose Moderna vaccine in the U.S. More than 30 million booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 24 million Moderna booster doses have been administered in the U.S., according to the CDC.