WASHINGTON (AP) – Most Americans should be given a Pfizer or modern vaccine instead of a Johnson & Johnson shot that could cause rare but severe blood clots, U.S. health advisers recommended Thursday. Strange clotting problems have led to nine confirmed deaths after the J&J vaccine when the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines do not carry that risk and appear to be more effective, say advisers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This is an unusual move and the director of the CDC, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, will have to decide whether to accept the panel’s advice. The United States has so far considered the three COVID-19 vaccines available to Americans as an equal choice, as large studies have shown that they all provide strong protection and that initial supplies are limited. The J&J vaccine was initially welcomed as a single-dose alternative that could be especially important for hard-to-reach groups such as the homeless who do not receive the required second dose of Pfizer or Moderna alternatives. But CDC advisers said Thursday that it was time to realize that much had changed since the vaccines were introduced a year ago. More than 200 million Americans are considered fully vaccinated, of which about 16 million received J&J shots. (AP).
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