US restricts use of Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine over rare blood clot risk

US regulators on Thursday strictly limited who can receive Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine due to a rare but serious risk of blood clots.

The Food and Drug Administration said the shot should only be given to adults who cannot receive a different vaccine or specifically request Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. US authorities for months have recommended that Americans starting their Covid-19 vaccinations use the Pfizer or Moderna shots instead.

FDA officials said in a statement that they decided to restrict Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine after taking another look at data on the risk of life-threatening blood clots within two weeks of vaccination.

The decision is the latest restriction to hit Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine, which has long been overshadowed by the more effective two shots from Pfizer and Moderna.

In dicembre, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Centro per la prevenzione e il controllo delle malattie) recommended prioritizing the Moderna and Pfizer shots over Johnson & Johnson’s because of its safety concerns. Previously US officials had treated all three vaccines similarly because they’d each been shown to offer strong protection.

But follow-up studies have consistently shown lower effectiveness for Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. And while the blood clots seen with Johnson & Johnson’s shot are rare, officials say they are still occurring.

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