Four months after launching the country’s largest mass vaccination plan in decades, it is becoming clear that the messages surrounding the COVID-19 vaccination effort are just as important as the science behind them.
It was observed when the first vaccines began to be used in December in hospitals and nursing homes, and even more so after the federal government discontinued the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Tuesday, April 13th, after reports of extremely rare but extremely dangerous, and in one fatal case.
Most health experts praised the government for its decision, saying it showed that for regulators, vaccine safety is a top priority. They said they must strike a balance between addressing small and serious risks while encouraging millions to get vaccinated in order to quickly end the pandemic.
“Stopping is a good decision and it shows that the public health system is working,” he said. Noelle BrewerHe is a professor in the Department of Health Behavior at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
- What exactly happened to the J&J single dose vaccine?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday recommended that health care providers and states temporarily stop using this vaccine after reports emerged that six women in the recipient United States developed rare but dangerous blood. clot. One of them died and the other was in a critical condition.
All six of the cases were women between the ages of 18 and 48, with symptoms occurring six to 13 days after vaccination, FDA and CDC officials said.
The gap comes less than a week after three vaccination clinics in Georgia, North Carolina and Colorado stopped using the vaccine temporarily when many people fainted or dizzy immediately after receiving it.
Health experts say that fainting is a known risk from all vaccines, and it occurs in about 1 in 1,000 people. In this case, some questioned whether a short-term suspension was necessary.
In addition, federal regulators are concerned that the blood clotting seen with the J&J vaccine is of the same type seen globally with the AstraZeneca vaccine. This vaccine is not used in the United States, but it is licensed in more than 70 countries.
The European Medicines Agency recently concluded that unusual blood clots with low platelet counts should be listed as “very rare side effects” on the label of AstraZeneca vaccine. While advising the public to watch for signs of strokes, European regulators said the benefits outweigh the risks.
The gap comes after a Baltimore subcontractor that was making the J&J vaccine spoiled 15 million doses in early April due to formulation irregularities.
- But what does all this mean in terms of my risk?
More than 560,000 Americans died from the Corona virus last year, or one in 586 people. The risk of a person dying or being hospitalized from a Covid is much greater than the risk of developing a rare blood clot from a J&J vaccine.
Additionally, the risk of developing a blood clot is also much higher if you have the coronavirus.
To put less than one in a million the risk of a dangerous blood clot from the J&J vaccine in perspective: Every year people face an opportunity. One in 500,000 people is affected by lightning.
“It is important to keep these numbers in context,” he said. Jonathan Watanabe, A pharmacist and associate dean in the School of Health and Science at the University of California, Irvine, about this rare blood clot. “While it’s terrifying, it’s a rare event.” In fact, the risk of developing blood clots associated with a Covid infection is higher, he added.
The gap, which FDA officials said they hope to last a few days, will give regulators time to alert doctors to additional risks and explain to them how to recognize, treat, and report clots to health authorities.
The CDC is holding a meeting of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee today (Wednesday) to further review these cases and assess their significance. The committee may recommend adding the risk of blood clots to the vaccine warning list or advise some residents to avoid this vaccine.
- Why is how important how these messages are sent?
How risk concerns are communicated can have a lasting impact on people’s decision to get vaccinated or not.
“The message is very important because science alone cannot lead us to the results we need,” he said. Zoe McClaren, Associate Professor of Public Policy at the University of Maryland – Baltimore County.
McLaren said the FDA has been known to avoid risk, which is why it has developed a reputation for protecting Americans’ food and medicine supplies. “Part of the message is to get what the FDA is doing to the public,” said McLaren, who received the vaccine from J&J.
Depending Track down the CDC vaccineAlmost half of adults in the country have already been at least partially vaccinated, and in recent weeks the numbers have risen to an average of more than 3 million doses per day.
Of the more than 190 million doses of the Covid vaccine administered in the United States, about 7 million were from J&J.
Nevertheless, the number of new infections with the Coronavirus continues to rise in many states, and the Director of the CDC, Rochelle Wallinski and others, expresses their concern about another increase due, in part, to people’s reluctance to get vaccinated.
On the bright side, the blood clot problem comes months after the vaccine launched and when Moderna and Pfizer pledged to get enough doses to vaccinate most Americans.
- How does this affect vaccine suspicions? Does transparency help or hurt?
The latest surveys show that 13% of adults say they will not receive a vaccine against the Coronavirus and 15% will receive only one vaccine if requested by their employer or for travel.
Experts don’t know if the J&J gap will increase hesitation among some people or give them more confidence in how federal regulators will oversee vaccination efforts.
The Dr. Amish AduljaA senior researcher at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Safety said he was concerned that this gap would have a lasting impact. “We have a lot of doubts about the vaccines that are out there, and that will only amplify them.”
But for Dr. Kartik Sherabudi, an infectious disease specialist in the University of Florida Health System, that’s an obstacle to the long vaccination game. The overall impact of the shutdown is expected to be minimal within a few weeks, as regulators and healthcare providers put the risks of the vaccine into the public’s view.
He added that Americans are so accustomed to being told of the health risks of drugs that they are bombarded with TV ads.
Meanwhile, Watanabe of the University of California, Irvine said he hopes the gap will lead to more discussions with skeptical Americans about all of their vaccine options. Watanabe said it would have been wise for the FDA to be “very cautious” in stopping the use of the J&J dose now, especially since there are two other vaccine options that could bridge that gap.