23 April 2021: J&J Pause Lifted

social@drbretsky.com
social@drbretsky.com

In what is the right decision, the ACIP (CDC’s vaccine advisory committee) has recommended lifting the pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by a vote of 10-4 (with one abstention due to participation in ongoing clinical trials).This is indeed the right decision. Although certainly tragic for those 15 cases of vaccine-associated thrombosis, the risk/benefit analysis unambiguously falls in favor of the J&J vaccine.

All of the confirmed case were in women (although one male in the clinical trial has a thrombosis event). The highest risk strata were women between the age of 30-39 years with 1.18 cases per 100,000 vaccine doses. The background general population incidence of cerebral venous thrombisis is estimated to be 0.22-1.56 per 100,000 population. It has a 3:1 female to male ratio and affected women tend to be younger (median age 34) than men (median age 42).

Some women in this highest risk group may indeed opt for Pfizer or Moderna which would certainly be a reasonable choice. However, for others it is critical we have this “one and done” vaccine option available and pay careful attention to any unusual symptomatology arising 7-14 days post vaccination.

To date in Los Angeles County we have had over 1.23 million COVID-19 cases and 23,736 deaths within a 10 million population.

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