ROCHESTER, Minn. - Health experts are concerned the current pause on administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will make more people hesitant to get vaccinated.
The pause comes as six women were found to have rare blood clots possibly associated with J&J vaccines.
Olmsted County Public Health says blood clots from the vaccine are extremely rare. So far only six out of around 7.5 million people who have received the J&J vaccine have been impacted.
However, if you were vaccinated from three days to three weeks ago and are experiencing severe head, abdominal or leg pain or shortness of breath there may be cause for concern. So far the blood clots have only been found in women ages 18 to 48.
Dr. Melanie Swift with Mayo Clinic does say catching the rare and unusual blood clots should actually inspire confidence in the vaccine process since the issue was pinpointed so early and so quickly.
She explained, “Thinking deeply about this should bolster vaccine confidence but inevitably there will be people who focus on the negative outcomes and so I just hope we can keep people aware of the message that this really does emphasize that there is a safety net and it does catch things early.”
If it’s been a month since you’ve received the J&J vaccine health officials don’t believe you’re at risk.
There have been no cases confirmed in Minnesota at this point but public health and Mayo Clinic have been working to educate the community to prevent misinformation and vaccine hesitancy.
Public health director Graham Briggs explained how staff have been working with the community for months, “to hear back about concerns or hesitancy or confidence in vaccine or if there are issues that are coming up. I know we're not hearing back about individuals who have had symptoms or anything like that and we're providing this message about the pause on Johnson and Johnson as well as part of our education and outreach in the community too.”
For the time being Mayo Clinic says the health system has been able to switch out the J&J vaccine for the Pfizer or Moderna for specific scheduled events.
The CDC has yet to make an announcement on when, or if, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine will resume.