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CDC panel votes to recommend preferred status to Moderna, Pfizer vaccines over J&J

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CDC panel votes to recommend preferred status to Moderna, Pfizer vaccines over J&J
An advisory panel for the CDC recommended that the agency show preference for Moderna and Pfizer's vaccines over Johnson & Johnson. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 16 (UPI) -- A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel said Thursday that it prefers COVID-19 vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer over one made by Johnson & Johnson due to rare blood clotting problems reported with the latter.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted unanimously to recommend the two two-shot vaccines over Johnson & Johnson's single-dose immunization.

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CDC Director Rochelle Walensky must approve the recommendation to make it an official policy.

The CDC put a temporary pause on administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in April to investigate the death of a woman who developed blood clots after she received the shot.

The agency said it's confirmed 54 cases of people developing clots and low blood platelet levels, something it calls thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, CNBC reported. The condition has mostly been seen in young women and resulted in nine deaths.

U.S. healthcare providers have administered 17 million doses of the vaccine since its emergency approval in February.

Pablo Sanchez, a member of the ACIP, said he has concerns about the vaccine, according to The Washington Post.

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"I just cannot recommend a vaccine that is associated with a condition that may lead to death," he said.

The panel said it supported preferential status for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines because they also were shown to have stronger effectiveness. They said exceptions to the preferred status should be considered for people who have had allergic reactions to the two-dose mRNA vaccines or only have access to the Johnson & Johnson shot.

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