Risk assessment for Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

Coronavirus

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Now that the pause has been lifted on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, many are still wondering if it’s safe to receive the shot.

Dr. Colleen Fogarty, the Department Chair for the University of Rochester Department of Family Medicine, discussed the pause, the risks, and the recommendations for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine Tuesday during News 8 at Sunrise.

Why was there a pause on the Johnson and Johnson vaccine?

The FDA and CDC decided jointly to pause the Emergency Use Authorization for the J and J/Janssen Vaccine.

There were six case reports of a rare and severe blood clot in individuals following administration of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine. This disorder is called thrombosis-thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS). Most of these cases were in women age 18 to 49.

During the pause, physicians and scientists at both FDA and CDC looked at all the data to assess the risk of this clotting and low platelet disorder.

The risk of this condition is very low. And the benefit to any person from receiving the vaccine outweighs the risks.

What is the risk?

Over 6.8 million doses of the J and J vaccine have been administered. There are between 6 to 15 cases of TTS, for an approximate rate of 1-2 in a million.

Compare this to the risk of dying in a car crash: The population motor-vehicle death rate 119 per 1 million.

What is the current recommendation?

We continue to recommend that everyone over 18 years of age get the COVID vaccine that is available to them. The J and J/Janssen vaccine risk is being updated to the Emergency Use Authorization.

Anyone getting a COVID vaccine who develops the rare symptoms of shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, persistent abdominal pain, neurological symptoms (including severe or persistent headaches or blurred vision), or purple skin blotching, should seek immediate medical attention.

My eldest son and many of my patients have received this vaccine and have done well.

References—

https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/fda-cdc-lift-vaccine-use.html

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