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J&J vaccine can be used for people over 30 but mRNA vaccines still preferred: NACI

OTTAWA — The National Advisory Committee on Immunization says the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should be limited to people over the age of 30 who don’t want to wait for Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna. 

The advice is almost identical to that issued for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine last month and comes as both are suspected of causing a new and very rare blood clotting syndrome.

In Canada there have been seven known cases of vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia, or VITT, one of them fatal. 

As of April 24, 1.7 million people in Canada have been given at least one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

No J&J doses have been injected in Canada thus far, but in the U.S. they have documented 17 cases of the blood-clotting disorder in about eight million doses given.

Canada’s first 300,000 doses of J&J are on hold at a Toronto-area warehouse pending investigation to ensure they are safe after discovering they were partly made at an American facility cited for safety and quality-control violations.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 3, 2021.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press