Canada’s National Advisory Council on Immunization has recommended provinces use the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on residents aged 30 and up.
The independent body of scientific experts declared the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine by Johnson & Johnson safe for use, saying the benefits of preventing COVID-19 infection outweigh the risk of rare blood clots.
So far, there have been 17 cases of VITT recorded in the US after 8 million doses were administered, vice chair of NACI Shelley Deeks said.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the only single dose COVID-19 vaccine available in Canada so far.
“Johnson & Johnson may be better suited for populations that are harder to schedule for a second dose,” Deeks said.
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Similar to AstraZeneca, Johson & Johnson is being recommended for anyone who wishes to receive a COVID-19 immunization sooner than by waiting for an mRNA jab.
“That would be an individual choice … Depending where one lives and type of activity one does,” Deeks said.
She explained someone living in a province with a low rate of COVID-19 infection who works from home and doesn’t go out much may make a different choice than a worker in a manufacturing plant in a province with a high rate of disease.
The federal government was set to receive a shipment of 300,000 doses last week, but has paused distribution of them after an inspection at a processing plant in Baltimore, Maryland noted “multiple areas” of concern.