Data suggests post-vax blood clotting is more common than previously thought

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted unanimously to alter the recommendations for currently authorized Covid-19 vaccines to favor the mRNA-1273 (Moderna) and BNT162b2 (Pfizer/BioNTech) shots over Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose Ad26.COV2.S vaccine.

ACIP’s new preferential vaccine recommendation reads as follows: “mRNA vaccines are preferred over the Janssen Covid-19 vaccine for the prevention of Covid-19 for those 18 years of age and over.”

The advisory committee’s decision followed a Dec. 16 meeting at which the voting members heard new data indicating that thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) is more common following immunization with the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine than previously believed: as of Aug. 31, 2021, a total of 54 cases of TTS have been reported following vaccination with the J&J shot, for an overall reporting rate of 3.83 cases per million doses administered, with the highest rates among females (10.6 per million for ages 30-39 years; and 9.0 per million for ages 40-49 years).

And, as of Dec. 2 of this year, nine individuals who developed TTS post-vaccination have died, seven women and two men, CDC officials reported.

The CDC Work Group ultimately concluded that, in settings where there are no alternative Covid-19 vaccines available, the benefits of using the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine still outweigh the risks involved with Covid-19 infection—after all, previous studies suggest that thrombotic complications are far more likely following infection with Covid-19.

And, as the CDC noted, the J&J vaccine is not the only vaccine to raise concerns over adverse events, as both of the mRNA Covid-19 vaccines have been linked to cases of myocarditis, particularly among younger males.

That being said, at 3 months’ follow-up, over half of patients who had post-vaccination myocarditis reported no symptoms, over 90% were deemed fully recovered by their cardiologist or healthcare provider, and thus far, none have died. By comparison, the mortality rate for individuals who develop post-vaccination TTS is approximately 15%, and 17% of patients required discharge to post-acute care or a rehabilitation facility. That difference, as well as the superior efficacy of the mRNA-1273 and BNT162b2 shots over Ad26.COV2.S, pushed the adenovirus-vectored vaccine out of favor.

Over 17 million people in the U.S. have received a single shot of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine thus far, according to the CDC.

John McKenna, Associate Editor, BreakingMED™

Cat ID: 31

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