Nurse provides perspective on J & J vaccine pause

Make an informed decision, Vogt says

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The CDC has issued a temporary pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine.

Andrew de las Alas , Reporter

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has ordered a pause in the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine effective immediately. As the only single shot vaccine available in the United States, it is particularly popular and some may feel stuck in medical limbo. 

School Nurse Ms. Marianne Vogt acknowledged peoples’ concerns, but said, “People who already received the J & J vaccine should not be too worried.” As of April 12, 6.8 million Americans had gotten the J & J dose, and to date, “only six have had severe side effects,” the nurse noted. The majority of these effects have been blood clots and were apparent within one to 21 days after receiving the vaccine. 

Vogt said, “If a person was already scheduled for the vaccine, the clinic giving it has switched to either Moderna or Pfizer.” According to in.gov, the large vaccine event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway would still occur, with citizens given the option to receive a Moderna vaccine. It is likely that other large scale events will do the same, as long as supplies last, according to coverage in the Indy Star.

Those who are already scheduled should check texts, missed calls and emails. Vogt said any vaccine administrator “would notify you if they do not have enough vaccines at the time of your appointment.” 

As a bit of comfort, Vogt said, “There is also a good chance the Johnson & Johnson one will be back in use (after) a few days. Pulling it is a precaution so (experts) can verify if any of these people with the blood clot issues might have had other reasons for the illness.” 

If students are concerned for their safety in the event that the J & J does return, Vogt said, “I think it is important to stay informed and talk with your parents.” In the end, minor uncertainties are a part of any medication. The school nurse said, “Just know that even though that seems scary to have six people react, that is actually a very low number when you consider how many have already received it. You have to measure the risks against the benefits and make an informed decision.”