FDA Vaccine Advisory Board Member: We Don’t Need More Info on J&J Vaccine, Pausing It Risks More People Getting COVID

On Wednesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Situation Room,” Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, said there’s sufficient information to make a decision on whether to resume the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and criticized the pause by stating, “There are no risk-free choices, just choices that take different risks.”

Offit said the CDC’s vaccine advisory board’s refusal to make a recommendation about the vaccine “was an unfortunate nondecision. I think the reason that they did that was they wanted more information. But I think there is enough information now to make a decision to help clinicians move forward or not with this vaccine.”

He added, “I just think it would have helped to have given some direction to people in terms of how to move forward. One thing they could have said was, just explain to people that there is this very rare, but very real side effect, remembering that of every million people that get COVID, 1,850 will die. There are no risk-free choices, just choices that take different risks. And I think that there may be people out there now, because this J&J vaccine is at least suspended if you will, who then won’t get a vaccine, who then will risk the very real problems associated with COVID.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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