Headline RoundupDecember 16th, 2021

Health Authorities Discourage J&J COVID-19 Vaccine Amid Concern About Blood Clots

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Health authorities and drug regulators in the U.S. are conveying more concerns about rare but severe blood clots associated with Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine.

On Thursday, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory panel unanimously gave a preferential recommendation to the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines over Johnson & Johnson's one-shot vaccine. Also this week, the Food and Drug Administration updated its fact sheet for health care providers who administer the J&J vaccine, citing current evidence that "supports a causal relationship between" blood clots and the J&J shot. At least 54 cases of of blood clots after receipt of the J&J vaccine have been reported in the U.S. to date. Seven women and two men, ranging in age from 28 to 62, died from the clots; another two deaths are suspected to be linked to the vaccine. The U.S. has administered roughly 17 million J&J doses. The two-shot vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer use mRNA technology, while the J&J shot is built on "more traditional virus-based technology." In April, health officials recommended a nationwide pause on administration of the vaccine due to concerns about blood clots. The pause was lifted 10 days later.

Outlets across the spectrum covered the news prominently and with a similar emphasis on the deaths linked to J&J's vaccine. Some on the right highlighted previous concerns about J&J's vaccine. Some on the left focused on how weakened support for J&J's vaccine could undermine public confidence in COVID-19 vaccines.

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