CDC advisory committee holds emergency meeting, decides to wait to make J&J vaccine recommendations

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An illustration picture shows vials with Covid-19 Vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of US pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson on November 17, 2020. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

ATLANTA, Ga. – Investigators for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working to determine if the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is linked to a handful of blood clotting cases. As they investigate, the Advisory Council for Immunization and Practice held an emergency meeting to address the issue.

After a four-hour meeting Wednesday, the ACIP decided they were not ready to vote or put any motions on the table to change recommendations for the J&J vaccine, also known as Janssen vaccine. They will not provide any recommendation until they meet again in the next week or ten days, giving members time for more risk benefit and risk refinement analysis has be conducted.

During the meeting, the council discussed the six cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis and thrombocytopenia in the United States that are similar to report the thrombotic events with thrombocytopenia seen in Europe after vaccination with the AstraZeneca.

The members presented more information about the six women’s health backgrounds. According to the presentation, the women experienced this clotting problem within six to 13 days of receiving the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Only one of these women was using a hormone like estrogen or progesterone.

None of them were pregnant or post-partum.

Some also had preexisting conditions such as obesity, hypothyroidism, hypertension and asthma.

The ACIP also talked about how different European countries are regulating the AstraZeneca vaccine. Some countries have age restrictions, only allowing residents above a certain age to get that vaccine.

CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices

Before making their recommendation, members were asked to consider two different questions:

  1. Do they have enough information to make an interim age or risk factor-based recommendation for the J&J vaccine?
  2. What recommendation does ACIP feel is appropriate given the current available information. 
CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices

Some of the policy recommendations they discussed included potentially creating age-based regulations for the vaccine.

ACIP members hope to announce the date of their next meeting by the end of the week.

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