FILE - In this March 3, 2021, file photo, a vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is displayed at South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

FILE - In this March 3, 2021, file photo, a vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is displayed at South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine can be given to adults 30+ who can’t wait for mRNA: NACI

Panel says single shot vaccine can be especially useful for populations unable to return for second shot

A federal panel has recommended that provinces offer the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to adults ages 30 and up – but only to individuals who do not want to wait for an mRNA vaccine.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization made the recommendation Monday (May 3). The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single-shot viral vector vaccine that has seen concerns over blood clotting, similar to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

While the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has not yet been utilized in Canada, it was approved on March 5. In the U.S., there have been 17 cases of vaccine induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VIIT) reported among eight million doses given.

Canada has pre-purchased 10 million doses of the single-shot vaccine, with options to buy another 28 million.

Dr. Shelley Deeks, vice-chair of NACI, said that each person will have to weigh the benefit of getting the Johnson & Johnson shot versus an mRNA vaccine based on COVID cases in their area as well as their personal risk of contracting the virus while they wait for an mRNA vaccine. The two mRNA vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, have an effectiveness of more than 90 per cent after two doses, while Johnson & Johnson has an effectiveness of about 66 per cent, based on clinical trials.

“What we’re saying — and what we’ve been saying all along — is that mRNA vaccines are the preferred vaccines,” Deeks said, noting that the concerns over Johnson & Johnson vaccines, and other viral vector vaccine AstraZeneca, are not over their lower efficacy (mid-60s) but rather rare blood clots. The risk of VIIT is both “very rare” and “very serious,” Deeks added.

“Individuals need to have an informed choice to be vaccinated with the first vaccine that’s available or to wait for an mRNA vaccine.”

However, Deeks noted that anyone who has already received a viral vector vaccine and not seen side effects within three weeks of getting the shot is safe. NACI is expected to come out with a recommendation about mixing viral vector and mRNA vaccines in the coming days.

Barring any production issues, the feds have said that all adults in Canada are on track to get their first dose of one of the mRNA vaccine by July. In B.C., health officials believe they can get a first dose to all adults by mid-June.

Recommendations given by NACI are not binding, but rather offered as guidance to the provinces.

READ MORE: Canada approves Johnson & Johnson’s 1-shot COVID-19 vaccine

READ MORE: Plans to distribute 1st doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on hold

READ MORE: Experts on the one-and-done advantage offered by Johnson & Johnson’s COVID vaccine


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirusvaccines

Just Posted

The City of Campbell River will purchase an automated external defibrillator (AED) for the Overdose Prevention Site after a letter from a local paramedic pointed out it doesn’t have one. Black Press File Photo
City of Campbell River to buy defibrillator for downtown Overdose Prevention Site

Local paramedic pens letter asking for city’s assistance after trying other avenues to acquire AED

Campbell River RCMP. RCMP photo
Two knife incidents reported on same day in Campbell River

Stabbing and knife fight both occured on May 13

Cash, drugs and weapons were seized by the Street Crimes Unit on May 12. Photo supplied by Campbell River RCMP
Police recover cash, drugs and weapons after arrest

18-year-old arrested in Willow Point Park for drug trafficking

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Most Read