US advisory panel calls for resumed use of J&J’s Covid-19 vaccine
Washington, Apr 23 (EFE).- A federal advisory committee within the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday recommended the resumption of the use of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen.
Administration of that single-dose vaccine was halted last week after a rare and severe type of blood clot known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis was detected in six women between the ages of 18 and 48 who had received J&J’s shot.
Ten of the 15 experts on the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted in favor of ending the pause, while four were opposed and one abstained.
Despite giving the green light for the resumption of the vaccine’s use, they recommended that language be added to the product label warning about potential health risks.
During the debate, the scientists considered four different possible changes to their recommendations for that vaccine, which as of Friday is blamed for 15 cases of that extremely uncommon blood clotting disorder.
All of those affected have been women, 13 of whom were between the ages of 18 and 49. Three of those people died.
The different alternatives considered by the ACIP ranged from recommending that the vaccine be discontinued altogether to calling for it to be used by all ages and sexes, albeit with cautionary language (the option eventually chosen).
The experts also weighed the possibility of warning women under 50 about the possible risk of cerebral thrombosis or of suggesting that the vaccine only be administered to adults over 50 of both sexes.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky must now sign off on the recommendation before the US Food and Drug Administration can make any change to the J&J vaccine’s label.
Among those taking part in the vaccine advisory panel’s meeting were representatives of J&J, who said prior to the vote that the pharmaceutical giant had agreed with the FDA to add a warning about the blood clot risk to the product’s label. EFE