CDC panel recommends Pfizer, Moderna vaccines over J&J shot

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CDC panel recommends Pfizer, Moderna vaccines over J&J shot

Most Americans should be given the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines instead of the Johnson & Johnson shot that can cause rare but serious blood clots, US health advisers recommended Thursday.

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, advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

It’s an unusual move and the CDC’s director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, must decide whether to accept the panel’s advice.

A nurse administers a shot at the FEMA-supported COVID-19 vaccination site at Valencia State College on the first day the site resumed offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine following the lifting of the pause ordered by the FDA and the CDC due to blood clot concerns.
The Johnson & Johnson shot can cause rare but serious blood clots.
Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Vials and syringes of the Johnson and Johnson Janssen Covid-19 vaccine are displayed for a photograph at a Culver City Fire Department vaccination clinic on August 5, 2021 in Culver City, California
The clotting problem has caused nine confirmed deaths.
PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images
Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines are seen on a table on May 7, 2021 in Los Angeles, California, at a vaccination clinic setup
J&J’s vaccine initially was welcomed as a single-dose option.
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Until now the U.S. has treated all three COVID-19 vaccines available to Americans as an equal choice, since large studies found they all offered strong protection and early supplies were limited. J&J’s vaccine initially was welcomed as a single-dose option that could be especially important for hard-to-reach groups like homeless people who might not get the needed second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna options.

But the CDC’s advisers said Thursday that it was time to recognize a lot has changed since vaccines began rolling out a year ago. More than 200 million Americans are considered fully vaccinated, including about 16 million who got the J&J shot.

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