Feds lift pause on Johnson and Johnson vaccine, hesitancy remains

A federal advisory committee says the COVID-19 vaccine is safe, but many Americans says they won’t take it.

The federal government may have lifted the pause on administering the single-dose Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, but many Americans are hesitant to receive it.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended Friday that a pause in administering the vaccine be lifted, according to a news release.

The pause resulted from concerns the vaccine was connected to six women between the ages of 18 and 48 who developed cerebral venous sinus thrombosis along with low levels of blood platelets six to 13 days after receiving the Johnson and Johnson vaccination as previously reported.

ACIP found that the vaccine’s benefits outweigh the possible risks in patients over 18 years old, according to a news release.

“Safety is our top priority. This pause was an example of our extensive safety monitoring working as they were designed to work—identifying even these small number of cases,” Janet Woodcock, MD, acting FDA commissioner says in the release. “We’ve lifted the pause based on the FDA and CDC’s review of all available data and in consultation with medical experts and based on recommendations from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. We have concluded that the known and potential benefits of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine outweigh its known and potential risks in individuals 18 years of age and older. We are confident that this vaccine continues to meet our standards for safety, effectiveness and quality. We recommend people with questions about which vaccine is right for them have those discussions with their health care provider.”

The damage in people’s confidence in the vaccine may already be done, though, as a poll from the Washington Post and ABC performed just before the pause was lifted found that less than 25 percent of unvaccinated Americans are willing to receive the Johnson and Johnson, the Post reports.

Fewer than half of all American adults say the Johnson and Johnson is very or somewhat safe after the pause, while about 70 percent of respondents regard the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines as very or somewhat safe, according to the report.