Jul 24, 2021 - Health

Benefits of J&J COVID-19 vaccine outweigh risks, per CDC data

A Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine vial at a mobile vaccine clinic held at Roosevelt Park on Friday, May 14, 2021 in Los Angeles , CA.
Photo: rfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The benefits of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine outweigh any potential risks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The big picture: There have been 7.8 cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare neurological disorder, per million doses among adults, which is higher than expected in the general population, according to CDC data.

  • By comparison, there has been about one case of Guillain-Barre per million doses for people who received either of the two-dose mRNA vaccines, according to the agency.
  • The data comes a little over a week after the Food and Drug Administration added a warning to the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, saying the shot can lead to an increased risk of a rare neurological condition.

Driving the news: Despite the small risk of an adverse reaction to the shot, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine prevents against the vast majority of death and serious illness from coronavirus.

  • "Many hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths can be prevented through Janssen and mRNA Covid-19 vaccines, far outweighing the risks," CDC researcher Dr. Hannah Rosenblum told the agency's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices in a meeting on Thursday, per CNN.

Between the lines: The CDC data show that for women ages 18 to 29, the vaccine would prevent 8,900 cases of coronavirus and five COVID-19 deaths and only one GBS case might occur.

  • For men in that age group, 6,600 COVID-19 cases and three COVID-19 deaths would be prevented and only two GBS cases might occur.
  • For every million doses administered among women ages 30 to 49, the data suggest 10,100 COVID-19 cases and 20 COVID-19 deaths could be prevented compared with the risk of about six to seven GBS cases.
  • For men in that age group, 7,600 COVID-19 cases and 25 COVID-19 deaths could be prevented compared with the risk of about seven to eight GBS cases.
  • For every million doses administered among women ages 50 to 64, the data suggest 12,100 COVID-19 cases and 120 COVID-19 deaths could be prevented compared with the risk of seven to eight GBS cases.
  • Among men, the vaccine would prevent about 10,100 Covid-19 cases and 140 Covid-19 deaths and come with the risk of between 14 to 17 GBS cases, according to the CDC data.
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