No adverse effects of J&J vaccine found locally – FDA’s restriction is just a precaution – Health Minister

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended the restricted use of the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccine and more use of the MNRA Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

During the Daily Covid-19 update on Friday, Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony said the decision was taken after the US recorded at least nine deaths in the first quarter of this year, of persons who had a clotting disorder called thrombocytopenia, after taking the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Thrombocytopenia after the vaccine is a very, very rare thing … you have about 3.25 per every million doses administered, so it’s very rare, nevertheless, the FDA in the United States has decided to take these precautions, because they have other vaccines available namely the Pfizer MNRA vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. That’s why they have changed their recommendations,” Dr Anthony said.

However, he noted that Guyanese who took the Johnson and Johnson vaccine should not panic.

“In Guyana, we have used Johnson and Johnson, we did not see persons having Thrombocytopenia and therefore we have still been using it, and we have had no adverse effect,” the health minister said.

“Persons who have received Johnson and Johnson vaccines, they don’t have to panic, because if you have received the vaccine, and you had no complications then you wouldn’t have any complications now,” Dr. Anthony said.

Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 Vaccine

He noted that thrombocytopenia develops within a week or two weeks after taking the vaccine.

“This is just a precautionary recommendation that is being made in the United States. The FDA in its recommendation, has also said that it has actually limited the use of the vaccine, it hasn’t stopped it, it has limited the use of the vaccine to adults and for persons who might need to use the vaccine because of special medical conditions,” the health minister noted.

Clotting caused by the Johnson and Johnson vaccine was first detected in April of 2021, which caused a 10-day pause on the use of the vaccine there, but after that use of the vaccine continued.

The minister said an independent panel established in December 2021 recommended that persons use more of the MNRA vaccines over the Johnson and Johnson jab.

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