- Dr. Anthony Fauci said he doesn’t think the Johson & Johnson vaccine pause will lead to more hesitancy.
- The US resumed the rollout of the vaccine and regulators added a warning label about the small risk of blood clots for women under 50.
- Fauci said the pause should show Americans that the US takes “safety very seriously.”
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Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday said he didn’t believe that the pause of the Johson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, which lasted for about a week, would lead to further vaccine hesitancy among Americans because it showed the US’ commitment to safety.
The US last week resumed the use of the J&J vaccine following a pause to allow regulators to examine the rare risk of blood clots associated with the shot. In resuming the rollout Friday, the FDA added a warning about the rare risk of clots in women under the age of 50.
Janet Woodcock, the acting administrator of the Food and Drug Administration, said Friday that regulators had “full confidence that this vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks.” The CDC said states could begin using the vaccine immediately.
Fauci on Sunday said that the pause should bolster Americans’ confidence that all of the vaccines are safe.
“I think, in the long run, what we’re going to see, and we’ll probably see it soon, is that people will realize that we take safety very seriously,” Fauci said during an appearance on ABC News’ “This Week.” “We’re out there trying to combat the degree of vaccine hesitancy that still is out there. And one of the real reasons why people have hesitancy is concern about the safety of the vaccine.”
Some people in the US, particularly Republicans, have expressed hesitancy about the COVID-19 vaccines, their effectiveness, and their safety, despite public health officials’ repeated assurances they’re safe and necessary to bring the coronavirus pandemic to an end.
A Monmouth poll conducted in April found that 43% of Republicans said they were not likely ever get one of the vaccines. In total, about 1 in 5 American adults said they were unwilling to get one of the shots, according to the poll.
Fauci noted that out of the more than 140 million people who have received at least one vaccine dose, 8 million people have received the J&J jab. According to the CDC, among those 8 million vaccinations, there are 15 known cases of clots — all in women under the age of 60. Three of the cases were fatal, the CDC last week said.
“So if anybody has any doubts about the safety of those other vaccines, and including J&J, we can now say, you know, we take this very seriously; we’ve looked at it; now let’s get back and get people vaccinated,” said Fauci, the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden.
“And that’s what we’re going to be doing, get as many people vaccinated as we possibly can, as quickly as we can, because we have a very, very effective vaccine for the people here and throughout the world,” he added.