A panel of advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday it recommends people receive the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines — like those from Pfizer and Moderna — over Johnson & Johnson.

Per STAT News, the decision was made to guide people away from the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine due to “concerns about a rare but serious side effect.”

  • “I really cannot recommend a vaccine that has been associated with a condition that may lead to death,” said Dr. Pablo Sanchez, a member of the panel who works as a pediatrician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio, according to NBC News.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, said she accepted the recommendation.

  • “Today’s updated recommendation emphasizes CDC’s commitment to provide real-time scientific information to the American public. I continue to encourage all Americans to get vaccinated and boosted,” Walensky said in a statement.

Of course, people can still choose which COVID-19 vaccine they receive. But the recommendation will likely limit the availability of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine nationwide, according to STAT News.

In April 2021, the U.S. briefly paused the release of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine because there were rare cases of blood clots among a group of patients, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • Per The New York Times, there were six cases of blood clots among the 7 million people who received the J&J vaccine.
  • The FDA said at the time that women from 18 to 48 years old got the blood clots, which happened eight days after vaccination.