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CDC recommends Pfizer or Moderna vaccine instead of Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson vaccine
Posted at 11:44 PM, Dec 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-17 02:44:30-05

On Thursday the CDC advisory committee released a statement recommending Americans receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, rather than the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Local experts say that women in the 30-50 age group are most at risk for the clotting issues associated with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, but if you have already received the vaccine more than two weeks ago and didn't experience problems initially, you don't need to worry.

"If you've had the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and it's a year ago or six months ago or whatever, you're probably way past any risk," said Dr. Rene Bravo, Bravo Pediatrics.

Bravo added that the complications associated with the J&J vaccine occurred within a few weeks of getting vaccinated.

But in pediatrics, they only use Pfizer.

"...and so now the recommendation really is that you shouldn't get [the J&J] vaccine unless you're over 50," said Bravo.

He noted that the announcement shouldn’t keep people from getting vaccinated, but motivate them to make informed decisions about their healthcare.

"Really still the best thing we're doing right now to prevent the coronavirus is getting vaccinated. That doesn't change my opinion about it at all. We still need to get vaccinated because that's the way out of this," said Bravo.

Some doctors however believed the announcement is about more than just the rare side effects associated with the J&J vaccine.

"Evidence is showing that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is not as effective in avoiding COVID disease and complications as the other two vaccines," said Dr. Brian Roberts, Med Stop Urgent Care Center Madonna Plaza Medical Director.

He added that the other choices may be better.

"If it was very, very effective I don't think they'd make this decision. I think it's a combination of realizing that the J&J vaccine is not quite as effective and it has more side effects," said Roberts.

Roberts agreed that the announcement shouldn’t scare people away from getting vaccinated.

"The death rate is almost down to one in two million. So it is a very, very rare complication," said Roberts.

Roberts stated that without vaccines the death rate from coronavirus is estimated to have been much higher.

"Recently the estimates have come out that if there was no vaccine program, over a million more Americans would have died in the last two years and over 10 million more would have been hospitalized. The vaccines work. They're our best option," said Roberts.

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