Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause: What you should know

Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause: What you should know
Posted at 5:01 PM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-13 20:21:02-04

LAFAYETTE PARISH — Johnson & Johnson's single-dose COVID-19 vaccine has been temporarily shelved throughout the U.S. over blood clot concerns. Out of more than 6.8 million people who've received the single dose shot, there's been six reported cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot.

As investigators are looking into those cases, some who've already received the shot say they stand by their decision to get vaccinated.

"Initially when I saw the headline, I was like 'Oh my gosh. I just got the vaccine.' I saw it was only six. I was like this really isn't a lot," Holly Besse said.

Besse received her single dose shot in March. It's a decision she still stands by.

"I did research and talked to people that I trusted," Besse said. "I felt like taking it was the way to go. Seems like I'm about a month out by now, hopefully I'm not a statistic."

Dr.Tina Stefanski with the Louisiana Department of Health says those who've already gotten the shot shouldn't worry. However, they should monitor if they develop symptoms within three weeks of being vaccinated.

"People who are between the ages of 18-48, especially women who were vaccinated with the J&J vaccine, do need to monitor their health," Stefanski said. "They should notify their health care providers when they develop symptoms of severe headache, abdominal pain, shortness of breath or leg pain."

She added,"We don't know with certainty if there is a causal relationship with these vaccines and blood clots. That's all to be determined."

As far at the other two vaccines, Stefanski says those are safe and operate differently compared to Johnson & Johnson's.

"We're still administering Moderna and Pfizer because we know these are safe and effective vaccines. Over 100 million doses are given. Totally different platform, not at all related to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine."

Stefanki doesn't want the pause of the single-dose shot to discourage others from getting the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. It's something also echoed by Besse.

"I'm still fine getting the shot," Besse said. " I feel like everything is truly a gamble. If I wouldn't have taken it I would still have to work everyday, go to the grocery store, that's a gamble as well. I just felt it was the right thing to do for me. I want to keep you safe and myself safe."