Shares of Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) climbed 3% on Monday following reports that Food and Drug Administration officials are considering a new safety warning for Johnson & Johnson‘s (NYSE:JNJ) COVID-19 vaccine.
The FDA plans to add a warning that Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine has been linked in extremely rare cases to Guillain-Barre syndrome, according to The Washington Post. Roughly 100 cases of the autoimmune condition have been reported among the more than 12 million people who have received that vaccine. No similar link has been found to that illness for the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.
Johnson & Johnson previously suffered a setback in May when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that 28 people who had received its COVID-19 vaccine had experienced a rare blood clotting issue. The CDC determined that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks, but the incident added to the hesitancy among many people who had been considering getting the single-shot inoculation.
Should the FDA issue a new safety warning on Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, it would likely further heighten these concerns. And that, in turn, could drive more people to choose to get Moderna’s or Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccines instead. Those two drugmakers have emerged as the leaders in the COVID-19 vaccine space thanks in part to their shots’ high efficacy rates and impressive safety profiles in both clinical and real-world settings.
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