With vaccines becoming more readily available to the general public, issues with the one-shot Johnson & Johnson immunization have arisen. As a result, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine distribution has been halted.
This pause in Johnson & Johnson vaccine usage came after a series of side effects involving multiple cases of blood clots in vaccine recipients, one of which proved
to be fatal.
This is not the first Covid-19 vaccine that has had blood clot issues. In March, production of the AstraZeneca vaccine was stopped after a larger series of blood clots, eighteen of which were fatal. Due to these vaccine issues, the AstraZeneca vaccine has yet to be distributed in the United States.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was introduced to the European Union in early March, and was temporarily taken off the market in early April. As of Apr. 23, the European Union decided to reintroduce the vaccine back into the European Union.
This decision came after it was decided that the uncommon nature of the blood clots and a total amount of less than ten cases ultimately showed that the vaccine
would be okay to distribute along with a warning about the potential blood clot risk.
Due to the heavy correlation between young women and the Johnson & Johnson blood clots, France has made the decision to only use the Johnson & Johnson
vaccine on people aged 55 and older.
While there is not a lot of research into the cause of these blood clots, it has been heavily speculated that the blood clots could be a result of an interaction with
women’s birth control.
Johnson & Johnson have begun studies to look into the true cause of these blood clots and ways to prevent them. The company reached out to Moderna and Pfizer
to assist in research, but both companies declined the invitation, not wanting to interfere with the efforts already being made to look into the issue. AstraZeneca has, however, joined the research efforts, after their vaccine went through a similar ordeal.
As of the time of writing this, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has yet to be reintroduced in the United States, meaning that all United States vaccine recipients are
currently getting either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, which are both two-shot immunizations.
Doctor Paul Offit of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is one of many doctors making the push to bring the Johnson & Johnson shot back to the United States. “If you take a theoretical million people who are infected with Covid, five thousand will die,” Dr. Offit said. “Therefore, the benefits of this vaccine clearly outweigh its risks.”
Dr. Offit also noted that while some people may have adverse reactions to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, others will have better results with it. “Whether
it’s because of where they live, or because they’re homebound, or it’s hard to get a second dose.” said Dr. Offit.
Sources : New York Times, CNBC, NPR