Today's announcement that federal officials have recommended pausing use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine might hurt efforts to encourage people to get vaccinated. But — critically — that doesn't mean the federal officials shouldn't have made the recommendation, says Melanie Kornides, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing who studies why some people are hesitant to take vaccines. "Some people are missing the message — they're so worried about hesitancy, that they're not seeing how important it is to address the safety, in order to make people feel less hesitant," she says. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended the pause while they investigate six reports of rare blood clots in people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The specific illnesses were unusual: the patients had a rare type of blood clot in their brains and very low levels of platelets, a type of blood cell involved in clotting. Similar clotting disorders were seen in the AstraZeneca vaccine, which uses the same vaccine technology as Johnson & Johnson. This combination of clots and low platelets needs a different type of treatment than normal blood clots,… Read full this story
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