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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

CDC director: People unable or unwilling to get Pfizer or Moderna Vaccine should get Johnson & Johnson

Americans who are not willing or able to receive Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines should get Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 shot, according to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) .

The CDC’s Vaccine Advisory Panel recently recommended the agency make it clear that Pfizer and ModernaJabs, both of which use messenger RNA technology, are preferred over the J&J one. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Valensky accepted the recommendation.

However, getting any vaccine is still better than without vaccination, Valensky said in a December 17 press conference.

“Given the current state of the pandemic here and around the world, any vaccination is better than no vaccination,” she said. “Individuals who are unable or unwilling to receive an mRNA vaccine will continue to have access to the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.”

Panel members voted after hearing that people who were vaccinated with J&J’s single-shot vaccine were found to have more cases of blood clots with lower blood platelet levels. Health officials were able to confirm 54 cases after delving into the reports submitted to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. More cases are likely, officials said, because studies have indicated that post-vaccination events are underestimated in the system.

Some members weighed in to explain their view that the only people who should get J&J’s job were those who could not get an mRNA-based vaccine due to health reasons or lack of access. The panel was told by CDC officials that their ideas would be incorporated into clinical guidance for the vaccine.

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The recommendation came shortly before a preprint study suggested that Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine produced virtually no protection against the Omicron variant CCP (Communist Party of China) virus, which causes COVID-19. Of the 12 individuals vaccinated with the shot, just one had neutralized protection against Omicron.

Vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna performed better than the new versions, but also saw dramatically less protection.

Other studies have indicated that protection from Pfizer’s vaccine against Omicron is reduced by 50 percent, which is considered by many to be the standard for a viable vaccine.

Booster shots restore some but not all of the lost protection, preliminary research suggests, although experts are unsure how long this restoration will last.

Johnson & Johnson said last week that the company is “confident in the overall positive benefit-risk profile of its COVID-19 vaccine” and pointed to earlier studies that showed the jab was “stronger antibody and cellular immune response and longer duration.” Produces lasting immune memory. And the breadth of protection in a variety of forms.”

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Zachary Stieber covers US news and stories related to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is based in Maryland.

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