Members of the CDC’s Vaccine Advisory Committee, ACIP, unanimously voted on December 16, 2021 to recommend that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) be used preferentially over Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine for all adults 18 years and older.
ACIP members reviewed updated safety information following the use of J & J vaccine in the United States. The updated safety information revealed more evidence of a relationship between J & J vaccine and TTS, thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, a rare type of blood clot.
People who received a J & J vaccine months ago are not thought to be at risk for this rare clotting condition. Symptoms of the rare clotting disorder has been typically found to occur within the first 2 weeks after vaccination. 54 cases of TTS and 9 deaths due to TTS have been reported following J & J vaccines in the United States.
Please stay tuned for detailed talking points regarding clinical guidance, implications for health care providers who administer vaccines and answers to frequently asked questions. CDC will also be hosting a live webinar for clinicians on Friday, December 17, 2021 at 2 pm EST to discuss the updated vaccine recommendations. You may view the recording and slide set after the call at CDC COCA Call.
CDC’s media statement is as follows:
Today, CDC is endorsing updated recommendations made by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for the prevention of COVID-19, expressing a clinical preference for individuals to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine over Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. ACIP’s unanimous recommendation followed a robust discussion of the latest evidence on vaccine effectiveness, vaccine safety and rare adverse events, and consideration of the U.S. vaccine supply.
The U.S. supply of mRNA vaccines is abundant – with nearly 100 million doses in the field for immediate use. This updated CDC recommendation follows similar recommendations from other countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom.
Given the current state of the pandemic both here and around the world, the ACIP reaffirmed that receiving any vaccine is better than being unvaccinated. Individuals who are unable or unwilling to receive an mRNA vaccine will continue to have access to Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.
The following is attributable to CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky:
“We have made important strides in the year since the COVID-19 vaccination program started. More than 200 million Americans have completed their primary vaccine series, providing protection against COVID-19, preventing millions of cases and hospitalizations, and saving over a million lives. Today’s updated recommendation emphasizes CDC’s commitment to provide real-time scientific information to the American public. I continue to encourage all Americans to get vaccinated and boosted.”
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