Restoring trust after Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause


Both the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration are calling for a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six reports of a rare type of blood clot in women.

Some are concerned the pause may contribute to vaccine hesitancy because people are worried about the side effects, dealing a blow to the nation’s vaccination campaign.

A doctor at Cone Health says it’s important to keep the complications in perspective. More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been given in the U.S. with little to no side effects.

“I think this is a rare event, the one in a million. The risk of getting COVID and the complication of COVID it’s much higher than that,” Dr. Cynthia Snider said.

The pause is a safety precaution, allowing the FDA and CDC to investigate the blood clots, but how does it affect confidence in the vaccine?

“I know that some people will be concerned about the effects of the vaccine based on what’s happened with the J&J, but when you look at the number of people who have received the vaccine, the Pfizer and the Moderna, the side effects are minimal,” Cheryl Harry said.

Harry’s church has been instrumental in educating her congregation about the virus and vaccine. Union Baptist Church in Winston-Salem has been serving as a testing site and pop-up clinic.

“They felt really comfortable coming here with it, the way that it was set up. Some of their tensions, their fears were eased, because they were doing it in a church setting particularly,” Harry said.

She doesn’t want that to change.

Doctors say the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which both use different techniques to build immunity, do not have the same concerns as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

They believe the data proves the vaccines have done more good than harm in protecting millions and preventing deaths.

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