US experts advise against corona vaccine from Johnson & Johnson

Status: 17.12.2021 02:07 a.m.

According to US experts, the Americans should be vaccinated with the vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech as well as Moderna if possible. It is not yet clear whether the health authorities will follow the recommendation.

Most Americans should get the vaccines from Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna instead of the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, according to US health officials.

Advisors to the US disease control agency CDC said on Thursday that the reason was rare blood clots that were registered by Johnson & Johnson after vaccination with the active ingredient. The authorities said there were nine confirmed cases of this type.

CDC Consultant: Things have changed since it was launched

The director of the CDC, Rochelle Walensky, must now decide whether to follow the advice of the advisors and issue a corresponding recommendation. So far, in the US, all three approved corona vaccines have been treated as equivalent because large studies have shown they all offer strong protection and initial shipments were limited.

J & J’s vaccine was initially welcomed as an option because it only needs to be administered once. However, CDC advisors said Thursday that it was time to acknowledge that much has changed since vaccines were launched a year ago.

Warning of blood clots

More than 200 million Americans are considered fully vaccinated, including about 16 million who received the J&J vaccination. The blood clots caused the US to temporarily suspend J & J’s single vaccinations in April last year while scientists investigated the side effect. Ultimately, regulators decided that the benefits of a one-time vaccine outweigh the very rare risk – as long as people were informed.

The US Food and Drug Administration said this week the blood clots are still rare, but more cases have occurred since the spring. They’re most commonly registered in women between the ages of 30 and 49 – about once for every 100,000 doses given, according to the FDA.

The other two vaccines used in the US, by Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna, are not associated with blood clots. AstraZeneca’s vaccine is not approved in the United States.

WHO: No problem with first and second vaccination with two vaccines

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization sees no problem in giving patients different vaccines for the first and second vaccination against the coronavirus. It published specific recommendations on this in Geneva. According to the WHO, not enough studies are yet available on the advantages and disadvantages of a booster vaccination with a different preparation than the basic vaccination.

When making recommendations, the World Health Organization differentiates between which of the three types of vaccine was used for the first vaccination: an mRNA vaccine such as that from BioNTech / Pfizer or Moderna, a vector vaccine such as that from AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson, or an inactive vaccine such as the Chinese manufacturers Sinovac and Sinopharm. The latter have an emergency approval from the WHO, but are not approved in the European Union.

Countries that used mRNA vaccines for the first dose of vaccination could consider vector vaccines for follow-up vaccinations, recommends the WHO Independent Vaccination Council. Countries that initially administered vector vaccines could then vaccinate with mRNA agents. Countries that first administered inactive vaccines could use vector or mRNA vaccines.

Council chairman Alejandro Cravioto also emphasized that the use of the same vaccine still makes the most sense for first and second vaccinations. The combination of different vaccines is relevant when not enough material from the same manufacturer is available.

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