Experts highlight COVID-19 vaccination risk vs. reward

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — After the U.S. recommended a “pause” in administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, the talking point from medical professionals was about ‘risk versus reward’.

Opting not to get vaccinated they say, will leave you open to getting COVID-19. The risk of blood clots from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine based on known incidents is literally about one in a million. 

Albert Blankley with ‘Commonground Health’ says the blood clot incidents that started the ‘pause’ on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are quite rare. 

“We’re talking about an instance of less than one in a million,” he says.

He says the system is working exactly the way it was designed to. “So we have an incredibly rare event that wouldn’t have been seen until a lot of people have been vaccinated,” says Blankley.

Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza says this is certainly a setback in the efforts to vaccinate, but like Blankley, says this is a sign the system is working. 

“These events were unfortunate, but it does give us a chance to evaluate more fully,” says Mendoza. 

A psychologist with Rochester Regional Health said Tuesday if you’re feeling anxious about getting any of the vaccines, talk to your provider. 

“Go to the source, the people who are the experts and try to not rely on stuff like social media to get your information,” says Dr. Garry Spink, Rochester Regional Health

Dr. Mariel Davila with Rochester Regional says all the COVID vaccines went through a rigurous process to get approved by the CDC and FDA. 

“Patients can feel pretty safe that these vaccines do work and the side effects are minimal,” says Davila.

But Blankley and Mendoza say this setback is not a reason to not get vaccinated. 

“When we think about risk versus reward for the vaccine versus COVID, what we’re talking about here is an incredibly rare event,” says Blankley. 

Blankley said that when this research is done on the J&J and blood clotting, it could very well be revealed that there is no connection between the two. 

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