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FDA restricts Johnson & Johnson vaccine against COVID-19 due to risk of blood clots

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A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the...

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. regulators on Thursday severely restricted who can get the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson because of the rare but serious risk of blood clots.

The Food and Drug Administration said vaccination should only be given to adults who cannot get another vaccine or specifically request a J&J vaccine. U.S. authorities have been urging Americans to start them for months Vaccination against COVID-19 use Pfizer or Moderna shots instead.

FDA officials said in a statement that they had decided to limit the J&J vaccine after reviewing life-threatening thrombosis data for two weeks after vaccination.

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This decision is the latest limitation to the use of the single-dose J&J vaccine, which has long been overshadowed by two more effective drugs, Pfizer and Moderna.

In December, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that Moderna and Pfizer shoot over J&J’s because of their safety. Previously, U.S. officials treated all three vaccines equally because each was shown to provide strong protection.

But subsequent studies have consistently shown less effectiveness of J & J’s vaccine. And although blood clots seen with J&J injections are rare, officials say they still appear.

Editor’s Note: Johnson & Johnson is a sponsor of PBS NewsHour.

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