Doctor on CDC panel sees ‘huge amount of evidence’ that J&J Covid vaccine benefits outweigh risk


A member of a key CDC advisory panel advised CNBC on Friday morning that he expects the U.S. pause on Johnson & Johnson‘s one-dose coronavirus vaccine to ultimately be lifted.

“I think that there is a willingness for us to use this vaccine. We did need to make an important pause to be able to look at this safety information to be able to consider the risks. But certainly, I think there’s a huge amount of evidence that the benefit greatly outweighs this risk,” mentioned Dr. Wilbur Chen, a professor on the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Chen spoke on “Worldwide Exchange” hours earlier than collaborating in a meeting later Friday of the company’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to debate the rare, but severe, blood-clotting disorder that a couple of girls skilled after receiving the J&J shot.

In addition to the six who developed uncommon however extreme blood clotting points after getting the vaccine, the CDC is wanting into two more possible cases: an Oregon girl who died and a Texas girl who was hospitalized. Of the unique six girls, one died and one grew to become critically sick. There’s been roughly 8 million J&J vaccine doses administered.

Concerns over the difficulty led the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA to quickly halt the use of the J&J vaccine within the U.S. final week. However, when requested by CNBC’s Brian Sullivan whether or not he believes Americans will begin receiving the J&J vaccine in some unspecified time in the future, Chen mentioned, “Yes.”

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, often known as ACIP, is an out of doors panel of specialists that makes suggestions to the CDC. It convened a gathering final week on the J&J vaccine, however postponed a decision until this week. Ultimately, it is as much as the CDC and Food and Drug Administration on what to do subsequent.

Chen mentioned ACIP now has higher info on the blood-clotting points upon which to base its vaccine steerage. “We will be able to get a good case count. It may not be perfect, but we don’t need to have perfect to have actionable information,” he mentioned, including he expects the panel to “come up with a set of recommendations that I think everybody will be happy with.”

In an emailed assertion to CNBC, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky mentioned she hopes the public-health company receives a “recommendation that takes into account the risk versus reward of using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine based on the new case data and the risk-benefit analysis CDC has been conducting over the last week.”

“I truly appreciate the complex question before the committee and look forward to hearing from them. I also appreciate the importance of acting swiftly, in collaboration with the FDA, once we hear from ACIP,” Walensky added.

Given the urgency of the pandemic, some folks have criticized the choice to halt the J&J Covid vaccine — which solely requires one dose for full immunity safety — whereas the investigation into blood clots came about.

Chen disagreed.

“The risk is very, very minor but until we were able to fully consider that information, we could not contextualize that to the rest of the medical community and also to the public as well,” he mentioned. “We’ve only paused for 10 days. Hopefully that will not be harmful in the long run, but we of course want to engender that there is some confidence in system for collecting safety information.”

The different two Covid vaccines authorised for emergency use within the U.S. are from Pfizer and Moderna; each of them require two pictures.


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