Risks of Johnson and Johnson vaccine explained; patient shares thoughts

Local reaction to the pause of Johnson and Johnson vaccine distribution

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - On Tuesday, the FDA and the CDC recommended pausing the use of the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine in the U.S. Out of the 7 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine given, six people have experienced blood clots, one has died, and another is in critical condition.

Now you may be wondering what this means for you if you already received the vaccine.

Dr. Shane Speights of New York Insititute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University says that the blood clots are rare and pop up typically between 6 to 13 days after receiving the vaccine, with threats reducing substantially after that time.

Speights says that the clots usually appear in women ages 18 to 48. It is a rare clot that affects the brain and naturally already affects women in this age group.

“So the question is, is this something that naturally happens as you start to vaccinate millions of people, or is it specific to the vaccine?” Speights said.

He says that the incidents are very low, 6 cases out of 7 million doses given, so it’s rare for the average person to experience clots.

Rick McKinney got his vaccine on March 11. He says hearing the news was concerning.

“I was a little concerned. So I actually texted the pharmacist that gave it to me. Should I be overly concerned about it, and she very quickly said “no,” McKinney said.

He says if he had to do it all over again, he’d still take the vaccine.

“I’m not a big shot guy, so if I can take one instead of two, I’m doing it. I would probably still get it. I really would. The ratio six to millions, that just doesn’t concern me as much as it would if it were a lot higher than that,” McKinney said.

The FDA and CDC are meeting Wednesday to decide the best path forward for the vaccine.

Dr. Speights says that though incidents are rare, it’s still something you should be aware of.

Look out for swelling in your arms or legs. Other symptoms include headaches or confusion.

If you experience any of these symptoms, go to an emergency room immediately.

This pause has caused some vaccine clinics to be canceled. For a list of updated clinics, click here.

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