Covid-19 vaccine and Omicron variant news: Live updates

PictureCovid-19 vaccine and Omicron variant news: Live updates
Credit…James Estrin / The New York Times

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended that Covid vaccines other than Johnson & Johnson’s be preferred, after their advisers cited growing evidence that the company’s shots could trigger a rare blood clot disorder now linked to dozens of cases and at least nine deaths in the United States. the last year.

The decision adopted a recommendation from an expert panel that effectively discouraged vaccine providers and adults from using the Johnson & Johnson syringe. New data showed that there was a higher risk of blood clots than previously known. The risk was greatest among women 30 to 49, estimated at 1 in 100,000 who had received the company’s injection.

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is not removed from the market. It will still be an option for people who “are unable or unwilling” to receive the more popular images from Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech, the agency said.

The recommendation is the latest setback for a vaccine that has largely fallen out of favor in the United States. The company’s vaccine has not fulfilled its early promise as a traditional one-of-a-kind format that would be easy to distribute in more isolated or rural communities, or among people who are intimidated into receiving two doses.

Approximately 16 million people in the United States have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as their primary vaccine, compared with 73 million fully immunized with Moderna’s vaccine and 114 million with Pfizer-BioNTech syringes. Among Americans who have received a booster, only 1.6 percent chose Johnson & Johnson.

This week, the Food and Drug Administration issued updated guidelines on the risk of blood clotting disorders associated with Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, but reiterated that the benefits outweighed the risks.

Dozens of countries have authorized Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine and used it as part of their vaccination campaigns. But even though it is still in demand in some parts of the world, it has lost popularity in many countries due to security concerns and its relatively lower effectiveness against Covid.

Some governments have already moved to put restrictions on Johnson & Johnson’s shots because of the risk of blood clots. Finland, Denmark and Slovenia stopped using it, and several other nations have rated it lower for use than Pfizer-BioNTech’s and Modern’s vaccines. Some countries have also advised doctors to advise women under the age of 50 on the potential risk.

The CDC panel’s recommendation comes amid an increase in virus cases driven by the Delta coronavirus variant and Omicron, the latest version that has already become dominant in some countries and is spreading rapidly in the UK and US.

Several laboratory experiments suggest that a single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s syringe may offer little defense against Omicron infection. The company said late last month that it was testing blood samples from participants in clinical trials who have been shot as a booster to see how their vaccine-induced antibodies perform against Omicron.

At Thursday’s meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice, CDC officials went into detail about the coagulation – related syndrome identified in 54 people in the United States who received the shot before the end of August. In total, the frequency of the condition was 3.8 cases per one million people who were given the vaccine.

People who received a Johnson & Johnson shot months ago are not thought to be at risk for the coagulation condition, because the symptoms usually appeared about nine days after vaccination in the diagnosed cases.

An increased risk of the condition is also associated with the shot from AstraZeneca, which is not authorized in the United States. It has not been linked to the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.

Evidence has increasingly shown that one dose of Johnson & Johnson’s syringe provides much less protection against infection than other vaccines. In October, federal health authorities approved boosters for people who had received a single shot of the company’s vaccine at least two months earlier. They allowed a “mix and match” approach, so that people could get a new shot, but with a Pfizer or a Moderna vaccine.

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