Covid: FDA limits access to Johnson & Johnson vaccine, associated with risk of thrombosis

This is not the first time that health authorities have put the brakes on Johnson & Johnson. The American Medicines Agency (FDA) has announced that it is limiting J & J’s anti-Covid vaccine, associated with serious risks of thrombosis. In December, the main public health agency of the country (CDC) had already recommended, for the same reason, to prefer Pfizer or Moderna to their competitor.

Thus, only adults who refuse to be vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna due to “personal concerns”, and those who cannot receive an injection of these two latter vaccines for medical reasons or of limited access, will now receive serum J & J. The limitation is now part of J&J’s vaccine emergency use authorization.

The FDA has identified 60 confirmed cases of thrombosis in the United States, nine of which resulted in death. Just under 19 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine have been administered in the country, or about 3% of total doses injected.

“Still a role to play in the response to the pandemic”

“We recognize that Janssen’s Covid vaccine still has a role to play in the response to the current pandemic,” FDA official Peter Marks said in a statement.

The agency detailed three types of people who can still receive Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine: those at risk of strong allergic reactions (anaphylactic shock) to a messenger RNA vaccine injection, such as Pfizer and Moderna; those with limited access to Pfizer and Moderna vaccines due to availability issues; those “having personal concerns about receiving an mRNA vaccine” who would otherwise remain unvaccinated.

A rare risk of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) has been detected after injections of Pfizer or Moderna, particularly in young male adolescents, but the vast majority of cases are not serious, with short hospitalization times. The FDA said it will continue to closely monitor data on all vaccines.


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