The Food and Drug Administration will attach a label to the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine warning of a slightly increased risk of a rare nerve disorder known as Guillain-Barre syndrome.
Just 100 out of about 12,800,000 Americans who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine developed the neurological condition. However, the FDA chose to add a warning label because the risk of developing Guillain-Barre syndrome is believed to be roughly three to five times higher in those who have taken the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“It’s not surprising to find these types of adverse events associated with vaccination,” Dr. Luciana Borio, a former acting chief scientist at the FDA, told the New York Times. The vaccine’s benefits “continue to vastly outweigh the risks.”
Most Americans have received vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which are administered in two shots over several weeks. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is one shot, and the Biden administration has exported limited quantities to other nations. The company is planning to give up to 400 million doses to the African Union.
Federal agencies temporarily halted administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in April, to investigate a rare clotting disorder among six recipients of the vaccine out of seven million American recipients in total at the time. The pause appears to have contributed to reduced demand for the vaccine.