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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New electric buses are coming to school districts. (Submitted photo)
New electric school buses will drive North Island forward

Travel on electric school buses is smoother, quieter, and healthier than traditional diesel buses

North Island Gazette file photo of Port McNeill council.
Port McNeill average priced home to pay $12 more in taxes

Residential property taxes in Port McNeill are going up

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Opening ceremony in remembrance of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Awareness Day hosted by Quatsino First Nation. (Quatsino First Nation Facebook video screenshot)
VIDEO: Quatsino First Nation goes live for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Day

May 5 is when the message behind all the red dresses hanging comes into sharpest focus

North Island Gazette file photo of Port Hardy council.
Port Hardy council to send RCMP officer a letter of congratulations

Mayor Dennis Dugas said Corp. Chris Voller ‘obviously earned it and he did a great job up here’

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Most Read