CDC panel recommends Pfizer, Moderna vaccines over J&J

Most Americans should get Pfizer or Moderna vaccines instead of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines, which can cause rare but serious blood clots, US health advisers recommended Thursday.

The bizarre blood clotting problem has been responsible for nine confirmed deaths since the J&J vaccine – while the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines pose no such risk and also appear to be more effective, advisers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

This is an unusual move and the CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Walenski, must decide whether to accept the board’s advice.

So far, the United States has viewed all three COVID-19 vaccines available to Americans as equal choices, as large studies have shown that they all provide reliable protection and supplies were limited early on. Initially, J&J vaccine was welcomed as a single dose option, which may be especially important for hard-to-reach populations, such as the homeless, who may not receive the required second dose of Pfizer or Moderna variants.

But CDC advisers said Thursday that it’s time to acknowledge that much has changed since the vaccine was launched a year ago. More than 200 million Americans are considered fully vaccinated, including about 16 million who received the J&J vaccine.

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