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Can I confidently receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

The news that many have eagerly been awaiting has finally arrived: a green light from health officials to resume distribution of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine. Which means that, as of now, we are again being offered three different vaccine options, all licensed for emergency use by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and, all available free of charge at immunization centers and pharmacies. The big question many people currently have is, are they truly safe? Let us answer your doubts with science-based facts. (1,2)

Minimal risk

The pause on the J&J vaccine was due to six original cases of a rare type of coagulation associated with low platelet counts. All occurred in women aged between 18 and 48. While some additional cases have come to light during the investigation by health authorities and a panel of outside expert advisors in recent weeks, the total percentage of risk remains equivalent to less than one in one million.

Safety alert

Resuming distribution of the J&J vaccine is unrestricted for people over 18, but both the CDC and FDA decided to add a safety alert to the label indicating there is a rare risk of blood clots and low platelets. In addition, they have indicated to physicians to be on the lookout for these possible effects. As for patients, call your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms in the first three weeks of inoculation:

  • Severe headache

  • Severe abdominal pain

  • Leg pain

  • Shortness of breath

  • Common practices are sometimes much riskier

Many people focus on concerns around a possible blood clot after getting vaccinated. However, these same people may be smoking, taking contraceptives, or planning unnecessary cosmetic surgery which overlooks that the risk of blood clotting in those scenarios is much, much higher.

Benefits outweigh minimal risk

As Dr. Juan has expressed on several occasions, making decisions related to health, especially regarding COVID-19, involves analyzing scientific data objectively and keeping two aspects in mind: the risk versus the benefits. So far, the mortality for infected people in the following months has remained at 60%, even in cases without hospitalization. The available vaccines, on the other hand, have resulted in zero deaths in case of infection. In this case, the benefits outweigh the risk.

More research equals more reliability

For many people, the review of the safety of a vaccine is cause for doubt – when it should be celebrated. The more reviews and research, essentially the more eyes scrutinizing every detail, the more confident we can be that there is clarity and transparency in the protocols. In addition to the review completed by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the CDC, the European Medicines Agency conducted a similar process and South Africa as well, concluding that the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the possibility of any risk. Virus resurgence

Things are starting to look better, yet we can’t ignore the fact that there are outbreaks of the virus still peaking in different parts all over the world. Mass vaccination and basic hygiene standards need to continue to be maintained, until the development of true herd immunity to quell this incessant virus.

We understand your doubts, but a review by federal authorities should not enforce your confidence in vaccines because it means that there is a commitment to investigating any aspect that could be deemed risky.

A vaccine, when correctly applied, offers greater protection. The J&J vaccine has been proven to be 85% effective against the coronavirus.

And don't forget that you have three options available: J&J, Pfizer, or Moderna. With whichever you choose, you will be adding support to your body and power to your community in the hopes of overcoming this virus once and for all.

If you want to know more about this vaccine, check out this video by Dr. Juan.

Let's keep making healthier decisions, together!

Your Santo Remedio Team

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