CDC panel recommends reducing J&J vaccine use after blood clot discussion

​​A panel of advisers to the CDC voted unanimously Dec. 16 to recommend using Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines instead of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine, citing concerns about rare blood clots, NPR reported.

The recommendation applies to all adults, who may be more likely to develop severe blot clots tied to the J&J vaccine than youth, the committee said. Some advisers said the J&J vaccine should continue to be available for those who want it.

Rochelle Walensky, MD, director of the CDC, will make a final decision on the matter.  

The panel recommendation follows reports of a rare and sometimes fatal blood clotting problem known as thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome. Reports of the issue include cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, a type of brain blood clot.

Women 30 to 49 years old are the group at highest risk, according to the CDC, with TTS cases seen at a rate of about 1 case every 100,000 J&J doses given.  

Symptoms of TTS vary, but can include headache, blurred vision, fainting or loss of consciousness, loss of control over movement in part of the body, and seizures.

The CDC and FDA paused the use of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine April 13 after reports of the rare but serious blood clots. The pause was lifted April 23 after an analysis of available data found the benefits of vaccination outweighed its risks. Since then, more data have been gathered.

More than 16 million Americans have been immunized with a J&J shot. More than 870,000 have received a J&J booster.


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