Infectious Disease

CDC advisory group says the benefits of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine outweigh the risks

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Alimchandani, Lee and Mbaeyi do not report any relevant financial information.

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A CDC advisory committee said it strongly supports the continued use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine despite its possible association with Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Last week the FDA reported that the risk of developing Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is “very low” and usually occurs within 6 weeks.

According to Meghna Alimchandani, MD, 100 cases of GBS have been reported, including one death, after being vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
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During a meeting convened by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), members reviewed data on the risks associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and its benefits, including the vaccine’s role in controlling the spread of the Delta variant. To date, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine accounts for 4% of total COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the United States. Sarah Mbaeyi, MD, MPH, a CDC medical officer said during the meeting.

100 cases of GBS have been reported, including one death, following vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine Meghna He loved her, MD, a medical officer with the FDA. The patient who died was a 57-year-old male with a history of heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes mellitus.

Grace M. Lee, MD, MPH, Chairman of the ACIP COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Technical Subgroup said the gross number of GBS cases in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System is about 8.1 per million doses with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. In contrast, the raw number of GBS cases is 1.1 per million doses with the mRNA vaccines. The expected number of GBS cases is around 1.6 per million doses, Lee said.

In addition to GBS, Mbaeyi noted that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has also been linked to an increased risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), and the mRNA vaccines have been linked to myocarditis.

“The reported adverse events – TTS, GBS, and myocarditis – are potentially serious and should be communicated transparently to the public,” she said. “Even with the new GBS safety signal, the advantages of [Johnson & Johnson] Vaccinations still outweigh the risks. ”

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