FDA Puts Strict Limits on Johnson and Johnson Vaccine Due to Blood Clots  

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled on Thursday to limit the authorized use of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) coronavirus vaccine to individuals who cannot receive other vaccines or for whom other vaccines are not accessible. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been plagued with controversy since its rollout with multiple reported cases of rare blood clots. On Thursday, the FDA confirmed these reports while stopping short of pulling the J&J vaccine altogether. The administration still highly recommends the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. “If there’s an alternative that appears to be equally effective in preventing severe outcomes from COVID-19, we’d rather see people opting for that,” FDA’s vaccine chief Dr. Peter Marks said. “But we’ve been careful to say that–compared to no vaccine–this is still a better option.” Marks said that blood clots from the J&J vaccine typically happen within two weeks of receiving the shot, and that people who previously received the vaccine have little to worry about. “So if you had the vaccine six months ago you can sleep soundly tonight knowing this isn’t an issue,” he said. As noted by the Associated Press, the J&J vaccine was first approved in February of 2021 and was hailed as a valuable tool to combat the coronavirus pandemic as a one-time dose vaccine compared to the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines spaced 4 and 3 weeks apart, respectively. However, reports of blood clots eventually saddled the vaccine’s reputation and the alternative vaccines–Moderna and Pfizer–became the primary shots the CDC recommended. That recommendation came in December.

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