The FDA and CDC both recommend the pause of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine after six Americans had blood clots after taking the vaccine.

Question: Should I be concerned about blood clots after the vaccine?

Answer: You should be aware, but not concerned.

Of the three vaccines available it is only the Johnsons and Johnson (J&J) vaccine that has shown an extremely rare chance of blood clotting associated with low blood platelet count. The other two vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, are produced using a different mechanism than the J&J and after 180 million doses, they have shown no risk of blood clots.

If I had J&J vaccine what should I be aware of?
The usual side effects of body aches and fever are expected for 24 to 28 hours after the vaccine. The blood clotting complications can extremely rare with six cases identified after 7 million doses. It occurs about nine days after the vaccination. So, the complication is unlikely less than six days after the vaccine or greater than 30 days after the vaccine. The symptoms are severe headache, abdominal pain, and leg pain.

What are the risk-benefits of the J&J vaccine?
Each one of us has to evaluate the risk-benefit of the choices we make. For example, driving a car has many benefits but also has a risk. The vaccine is the same.

In short, the risk of having a blood clotting complication is one per million as opposed to the risk of getting covid and dying from it, if not vaccinated—based on 563,000 deaths—is 1,700 per million.

If we put this in perspective, over a year the risk of dying from a car accident is 110 deaths per million.

Can I choose which vaccine I want?
Yes, vaccines are available at various vaccinations centers across the county. The website will notify you which vaccine is being offered at the site. You can go and register at the site which is offering the vaccine you wish to take.

Do you believe the researchers are sharing all the vaccine data?
Yes, many are suspicious and skeptical of the government, FDA, CDC, and the vaccine companies. However, there is tremendous amount of scrutiny and likewise transparency. Sometimes, too many details make us fearful, that is why we need to put the data in perspective.

How many people need to be vaccinated for us to reach herd immunity?

Slowly, we are seeing an increase in the percentage of people who are protected. Random samples of blood antibody data from the end of March showed a pivotal moment.

Now, we have more people, 51%, who are protected from the vaccine or previous infection compared to those who are vulnerable, 49%. If we can achieve 85% or more protected, we will have sufficient protection in the community to see daily number of cases begin to decline.

Unfortunately the mutant viruses such as B117 the “UK variant” has made it harder to achieve herd immunity because they are more transmissible.

Vaccination is our best path to a normal way of life. We need to get vaccinated and also we need to encourage those in our workplaces and at our church and social circles to get vaccinated.

Source: Commercial Appeal