United States: FDA limits access to Johnson & Johnson’s Covid vaccine

The American drug agency FDA announced on Thursday that it would limit Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine to adults who refuse to be vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna because of “personal concerns”. She cites the risks of serious thrombosis associated with the vaccine.

For this same reason, the country’s main public health agency, the CDC, had already recommended in December that Americans get vaccinated against Covid-19 with Pfizer and Moderna, rather than with Johnson & Johnson. These three vaccines are the only ones authorized in the country.

To read: Covid-19: WHO “strongly recommends” Pfizer’s antiviral for patients at risk

Cases of thrombosis recorded in the United States

The limitation is now part of the emergency use authorization of the vaccine from “J&J”. The FDA has identified 60 confirmed cases of thrombosis in the United States, including nine deaths. Just under 19 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine have been administered in the country, or about 3% of total doses injected.

The frequency of these thromboses is thus 3.23 per million doses administered, detailed the American agency. Still, “we recognize that Janssen’s Covid-19 vaccine still has a role to play in the response to the current pandemic,” FDA official Peter Marks said in a statement.

The target of many conspiracy theories

The agency detailed three examples of people who can still receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine: individuals at risk of severe allergic reactions (anaphylactic shock) to a messenger RNA vaccine injection, people with limited access to vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna for availability issues and, finally, individuals “with personal concerns about receiving an mRNA vaccine.”

Messenger RNA technology, which had never been widely used before Covid-19 vaccines, has been the target of many conspiracy theories, despite being shown to be very safe.

Read again: At least 58% of the American population would have contracted the Covid in February, estimates a study

A rare risk of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) has been detected after injections of Pfizer or Moderna, particularly in young male adolescents, but the vast majority of cases are not serious, with short hospitalization times.

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