Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is recommending Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine to adults 30-years and older.
“At this time and based on current evidence, NACI recommends the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine may be offered to individuals 30 years of age and older without contraindications, if the individual does not wish to wait for an mRNA vaccine and if the benefits outweigh the risk for the individual,” NACI said in a statement released online.
Health Canada has authorized the vaccine for adults at least 18 years old.
NACI did not rule out getting the J&J vaccine during pregnancy, but said an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, such as Pfizer-BioNtech’s or Moderna’s, is preferred.
The committee cited recently published data confirming the safety of mRNA vaccines during pregnancy and concerns about recent blood clot risks for their reasoning.
The news comes several days after Health Canada announced it was postponing the country’s first shipment of J&J vaccines due to quality control issues.
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Health Canada said Friday it would hold back the first batch of 300,000 J&J vaccines after learning that a part of the vaccine was made in the same Baltimore plant where around 15 million doses meant for the U.S. market were spoiled.
J&J has agreed to supply Canada with up to 38 million vaccines.
The J&J vaccine differs from others authorized for use in Canada. Vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna and AstraZeneca are two-dose vaccines, whereas the J&J vaccine is a one-shot dose that experts and health officials have touted as crucial in stemming the spread of the virus amid a devastating third wave of the pandemic.
More to come.
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