The US Meals and Drug Administration introduced Thursday that it’s limiting the emergency use authorization of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Covid-19 vaccine to folks 18 and older for whom different vaccines aren’t applicable or accessible and people who go for J&J as a result of they wouldn’t in any other case get vaccinated.
The FDA mentioned in a press release that the change is being made due to the danger of a uncommon and harmful clotting situation referred to as thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) after receiving the vaccine.
“We’ve been intently monitoring the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine and incidence of TTS following its administration and have used up to date data from our security surveillance programs to revise the EUA,” Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Heart for Biologics Analysis and Analysis, mentioned within the assertion. “We acknowledge that the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine nonetheless has a job within the present pandemic response in the USA and throughout the worldwide neighborhood. … Immediately’s motion demonstrates the robustness of our security surveillance programs and our dedication to making sure that science and knowledge information our actions.”
The company confirmed to CNN that the up to date authorization additionally applies to booster doses.
The FDA says it has decided that the advantages of the J&J vaccine outweigh the dangers for sure folks. Examples of people that should still get the vaccine embrace:
- Those that had a extreme allergic response to an mRNA vaccine akin to these from Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna
- These with private considerations in regards to the mRNA vaccines who would stay unvaccinated with out the J&J vaccine
- These with restricted entry to mRNA Covid-19 vaccines
As of Thursday, greater than 18.7 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered within the US, in accordance with the US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. Of those that are thought-about totally vaccinated, 7.7% received this vaccine.
After a gathering in December, the CDC’s vaccine advisory committee issued an up to date advice on Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, saying it makes a “preferential advice for using mRNA COVID-19 vaccines over the Janssen adenoviral-vectored COVID-19 vaccine in all individuals aged ≥18 years in the USA.”
The committee cited the identical considerations over TTS.
Each the CDC and the FDA beforehand really helpful a pause in using this vaccine over experiences of TTS. The pause was lifted, however that transfer got here with a warning over the uncommon clotting occasions.
Johnson & Johnson mentioned in a press release on the time, “The protection and well-being of the individuals who use our merchandise is our primary precedence. We’re conscious of an especially uncommon dysfunction involving folks with blood clots together with low platelets in a small variety of people who’ve obtained our COVID-19 vaccine. … We now have been working intently with medical consultants and well being authorities, and we strongly assist the open communication of this data to healthcare professionals and the general public.”
In an up to date truth sheet on the vaccine, the FDA says that 15% of TTS instances have been deadly.
The company’s up to date evaluation of the vaccine contains instances reported to its Vaccine Adversarial Occasions Reporting System (VAERS) database by means of March 18. The FDA says it has confirmed 60 instances of TTS, together with 9 deaths.
Total, the danger of TTS is extraordinarily uncommon: about three instances for each million doses of vaccine administered. The very best fee of TTS has been in girls 30 to 49 years of age. About eight instances per 1 million doses of vaccine administered have been in girls on this age group.
Instances of TTS sometimes start one or two weeks after vaccination. Signs embrace shortness of breath, chest ache, leg swelling, persistent belly ache, neurological signs like complications or blurred imaginative and prescient, or purple spots just below the pores and skin referred to as petechiae past the location of vaccination.
The brand new warning on the vaccine’s truth sheet says “The Janssen Covid-19 vaccine may cause thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) which can be life-threatening.”