CDC endorses Pfizer, Moderna jabs over J&J, citing blood clot risk: But data show all 3 carry similar risk

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday voted 15 - 0 to 'preferentially recommend' mRNA COVID vaccines Pfizer and Moderna over the Johnson & Johnson shot due to “higher-than-expected” risk of blood clots, but data show Pfizer, Moderna shots also cause blood-clotting disorders.

CDC endorses Pfizer, Moderna jabs over J&J, citing blood clot risk: But data show all 3 carry similar risk

(Children’s Health Defense) – An advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted 15 – 0 on Thursday to “preferentially recommend” mRNA COVID vaccines Pfizer and Moderna over the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) shot for adults 18 years and older.

The recommendation came after the agency’s advisory panel said the rate of rare blood-clotting disorders following the J&J vaccine was higher than expected. The CDC signed off on the panel’s updated guidance late Thursday.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization and Practices (ACIP) effectively discouraged vaccine providers and adults from using the J&J’s shot — marking the first time the panel expressed a preference for a specific type of COVID vaccine.

The panel stopped short of recommending the vaccine be pulled from the market. J&J’s vaccine will remain an option for people who are “unable or unwilling” to receive mRNA vaccines, The New York Times reported.

The ACIP said the interim recommendation applies to J&J’s primary series vaccine doses and its booster dose.

Panel members requested stronger language be used in the guidance, but CDC officials said the strength of the recommendations would be made clear in the clinical considerations.

The panel reviewed data from CDC officials on thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), acknowledging 54 cases of the condition among J&J recipients, including nine deaths.

The median age of cases was about 45 but the vaccine-injured ranged in age from 18 to 70.

Thirty-seven cases were in women and more than half (54%) of cases included cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST). All cases occurred after the primary vaccine dose.

The median time from vaccination to symptom onset was nine days, and all patients were hospitalized — including 36 who were admitted to the ICU.

Rates are higher than previously estimated among both men and women, the CDC’s Dr. Isaac See said during the meeting.

“We’ve been struck on reviewing these cases by how rapidly a patient deteriorates … to death,” See said, noting symptoms always begin within two weeks of getting the vaccine and, on average, within nine days.

See said 39 of the 54 reported cases occurred before the CDC and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) paused the vaccine in April to investigate its link to blood clots.

CDC excludes blood clotting disorders from data

The CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force said it excluded “reports where [the] only thrombosis is ischemic stroke or myocardial infarction.”

The exclusions significantly reduced the number of coagulopathy cases included in the task force’s analysis. Coagulopathy refers to a medical condition characterized by an inability of blood to coagulate, or clot.

According to the CDC website, most strokes (87%) are ischemic strokes. An ischemic stroke occurs when blood flow through the artery that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the brain becomes blocked — a condition often caused by blood clots.

A myocardial infarction is a heart attack that occurs when the heart muscle doesn’t get enough blood due to a blockage — such as a blood clot — in the arteries that supply blood to the heart.

The CDC also excluded individuals who had an active case of COVID from the data. The agency did not analyze reports of blood-clotting disorders following mRNA vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, despite warnings by scientists that both vaccines may cause blood clots and heart attacks.

(Article by Megan Redshaw, J.D. republished from

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