• COVID-19 Response Team

CDC Updates Recommendations with Preference for Moderna & Pfizer Vaccines

This month the CDC updated its recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines to indicate a clinical preference for mRNA vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer) over the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (J&J) vaccine. Data surveillance on vaccine safety identified 57 confirmed reports of people who got the J&J vaccine and later developed Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS). TTS is a serious, but rare, adverse event that causes blood clots with low platelets.

As of December 8, 2021, more than 16.9 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been given in the United States. The vaccine safety system identified nine deaths that have been caused by or were directly attributed to TTS following J&J vaccination. Women ages 18-49 years, especially, should be aware of the rare but increased risk of this adverse event.

Available mRNA vaccines have not shown the same increased risk of TTS following administration. Therefore, the CDC and FDA recommend the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine over the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The Caroline County Health Department strongly encourages residents to choose the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine for their initial vaccine series and booster shot. However, we also recognize that some individuals may still prefer to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and we will continue to make it available. Those who register to receive a J&J shot will receive individual counseling on the clinical preference for an mRNA vaccine at the time of vaccination.

The CDC’s updated recommendation demonstrates an ongoing commitment to both vaccine safety as new data and information become available and to transparency regarding COVID-19 vaccines.

You can view dates for upcoming vaccine clinics and register online here.

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