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Some still prefer J&J Covid-19 vaccine after U.S. pause, survey shows

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Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines will be seen at Northwell Health’s South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, New York on March 3, 2021.

Shannon Stapleton | Reuters

Fewer Americans say they prefer the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine after the US temporarily stopped its use in April, but 17% of Americans in a new poll still say this is their first choice.

According to consecutive polls of 1,500+ Americans conducted for CNBC by global data and survey firm Dynata, that’s a 29% decrease in March before the break.

The April 13-23 hiatus was recommended while U.S. regulators investigated rare but severe cases of blood clots linked to the vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended resuming use of the vaccine after a CDC advisory group concluded that the benefits of the shot outweighed the risk and warned that the risk of clots was greater is higher for women under 50 years of age.

“It’s just a shot, and it’s a household name,” said Mark Levine, a New York councilor who chairs the city council’s health committee, in an interview following the CDC advisory vote on April 23. I have certainly spoken to people who have told me they are waiting for a vaccine until J&J comes back on the market. “

The April 24-27 Dynata poll found that more people preferred the Pfizer vaccine after the J&J hiatus. Pfizer, the top pick, rose from 20% in March to 35% in April. Moderna’s vaccine rose from 10% as the first choice in March to 17% in April, and those who said they preferred either of these vaccines, which both contain two doses and use the same messenger RNA technology, stayed at 12-13 relatively unchanged%.

Given the higher risk of blood clots in women, it’s not surprising that their preference for the J&J vaccine fell the most, from 28% in March to 14% in April, compared with a decrease from 29% in men to 21%.

The J&J hiatus occurred precisely when daily vaccinations in the US were peaking, with an average of more than 3 million shots per day. According to Evercore ISI, the US recorded 1.2 million shots administered on Monday, the lowest number since February.

However, local officials told CNBC it was difficult to tell how much the break was affecting vaccination rates, as appointments were already vacant at around the same time.

“In a way, we went over the people who wanted it so badly and they wanted it yesterday,” said Judge Lina Hidalgo of Harris County, Texas, in a telephone interview on April 19.

The number of Americans who say they are not planning a vaccine or are undecided fell slightly from March through April, according to Dynata polls. Those who don’t plan to get vaccinated fell from 13% to 12%, while those on the fence fell from 6.8% to 5.6%.

When asked what makes them more likely to receive a vaccine, 37% said more scientific evidence shows the vaccines are safe and effective, while 31% said they had more time to feel better about long-term effects. Only 8.1% said they were convinced when an employer needed a vaccination.

Many colleges and universities have stated that they must require students to be vaccinated in the fall to get on campus, and Dynata’s survey found that only more than half of those aged 18-24 agreed to take vaccine mandates in schools are. Only more than a quarter were against it.

– CNBC’s Harriet Taylor and Whitney Ksiazek contributed to this article.

The survey was conducted in partnership with Dynata, a global data and survey company, through a first-party online panel from April 24-27. The sample included 1,766 adults in the United States. The data were weighted to correct for known demographic discrepancies. The error rate at national level is plus or minus 2.4%.

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Robert Dunfee