Expert advises against worrying over J&J Vaccine

Jeanne Peters, 95, receives a COVID-19 vaccine from a CVS pharmacist. (Photo Supplied/CVS Pharmacy)

INDIANAPOLIS (Network Indiana): It’s more likely for you to get a blood clot from taking birth control than from the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine, says one Indianapolis doctor.

Dr. Paul Calkins, an associate chief medical executive at IU Health, told WISH-TV that it’s not out of the ordinary for the rollout of any newly released drug or vaccine to be halted because of questions that arise after it’s been released.

“I think that this is an example of the FDA doing what it is supposed to do. They located a question, they decided they wanted to check the question and answer it,” Calkins said.

The Johnson & Johnson shot was halted on Tuesday when it was discovered that six women in the U.S. got blood clots soon after getting the single-dose shot. One of those women died. But, it’s not clear yet if the shot is what caused those blood clots to form.

Calkins said 900,000 Americans suffer from blood clots for other reasons every year and around 100,000 of them die, so you shouldn’t worry yet if you have already gotten the shot.

He added that studies have shown blood clotting is actually a greater risk for women who use hormonal birth control, and in this situation, it’s better to focus on the millions of people the J & J vaccine has helped so far, rather than the six people in question.

“We actually are seeing that in our patient population now the number of 80-year-olds and 70-year-olds who are winding up admitted to our hospital has gone down dramatically. There is no other reason than vaccination,” Calkins said.

If you are still concerned about the Johnson & Johnson shot, he recommends going with the Pfizer or Moderna two-dose shots which so far have not had any direct or indirect links to blood clotting.

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