COVID-19 vaccine

Expert: Don't Let J&J Vaccine Issue Stop You From Getting Vaccinated

Worries about vaccine hesitancy spreading

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The odds of having a blood clotting problem after receiving Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine are extremely small, less than one in a million.

Six women, between the ages of 18 and 48, developed clots out of 6.8 million people who got the J&J vaccine. 

However, as infectious disease expert Dr. Aileen Marty explains it, to maintain public confidence in the vaccination effort, every issue must be transparently investigated. That’s why the FDA and the CDC pulled the J&J vaccine out of circulation temporarily. 

“This is enough of a concern that it’s proper and appropriate to pause and take a hard look at whether or not these are simply flukes, or whether there are certain individuals that may be predisposed and should not get that vaccine, they should be steered to a different COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Marty, who is a distinguished professor at FIU. 

“I got the vaccine on Friday morning. It was a drive-thru, super easy, no pain, no symptoms,” said Jana Morales, a former Miamian who now lives in Memphis, Tennessee. 

Morales rolled up her sleeve for the J&J shot and is now digesting the news about possible adverse effects. 

“I’m not concerned, I’m super happy that I have a vaccine, and that all my family and friends are being vaccinated and we can see each other and hang out,“ Morales said. “It’s totally worth it to not die from a terrible disease.”

Angelica Darmenko just got her J&J vaccine two days ago. 

“I think that things like this happen with everything that we do and with less than one in a million chance of something happening, I’m not really worried,” Darmenko said. “We got the shot for a reason, to protect ourselves and those around us, and I’m a strong believer in science and I feel that what we’re doing is the right thing to do.”

Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, explains what to monitor if you recently received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

“It is still a very significant protection against this horrific virus and the risk of someone having one of these thrombotic events is extremely low,” Dr. Marty said about the J&J vaccine. 

She also said she is worried about the J&J issue fueling vaccine hesitancy and misinformation. 

“Yeah, that’s a real concern, but I think the most important message is, the system works, we see a problem, we stop,” Dr. Marty said. “It’s a no-brainer, you should get a vaccine.”

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