Doctor weighs in on CDC advice to get mRNA vaccines over Johnson & Johnson

South Carolina News

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – On Thursday, the CDC announced that it’s advising people to get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines over the Johnson and Johnson. They say the J&J can lead to a very rare, but serious, side effect.

Dr. Helmut Albrecht, with Prisma Health, says the J&J vaccine is not being recalled, but that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are being put on a higher level. He says this doesn’t mean people can’t still get the J&J, because the benefits massively outweigh the risks. Dr. Albrecht says the CDC’s announcement doesn’t come as a shock to him.

“It wasn’t really surprising; most experts have recommended the mRNA vaccines. Which are the BioNTech Pfizer and the Moderna vaccine, over virus-transported vaccines, such as J&J,” said Dr. Albrecht.

He says what’s happening is very rare. He says the J&J is causing a side effect that’s linked to blood clotting, especially in the brain. He says out of the millions of doses that have been given, only 54 cases have occurred in the U.S., 9 of which were fatal.

“The main issues was a very, very rare side effect. If you had your vaccine more than 4 weeks ago, then that is not an issue for you anymore,” said Dr. Albrecht.

Dr. Albrecht says women are mostly at risk for this very rare side effect.

“Women who still have a significant amount of hormones on board, so they tend to be under 60 years old. They’re much more likely to be female than male,” he said.

He also says people who are overweight, smoke or take birth control are at a higher risk. Dr. Albrecht says he is recommending people who have the J&J to get a Pfizer or Moderna booster shot. He says he’s worried the news will deter people from wanting to get vaccinated.

“Absolutely, every fact that has been put out there has been abused by people who. where that fits their agenda,” he said.

However, Dr. Albrecht says all three vaccines are still on the table, and part of the solution. With the holiday season among us, Dr. Albrecht recommends people get their vaccine, booster and flu shots.

Right now, new covid cases are nearly up 40% in two weeks, fueled by the Delta Variant and Omicron’s Spread.

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