Dr. Fauci Says Anyone Who Got the Johnson & Johnson Jab Should Do This
The top infectious disease expert has some advice for vaccine recipients who are concerned.
On April 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) came together to release a statement recommending a pause on administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The move was made "out of an abundance of caution" after extremely rare incidents of blood clotting issues were reported in six women who got the single-dose shot. But while the decision may have some patients who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine concerned about their health and safety, Anthony Fauci, MD, chief White House health adviser, told the public about a few things they should do in the coming days. Read on to see what the top health official suggests, and for more on how some people react to their shots, Be Prepared for This the Night You Get Your COVID Vaccine, Doctors Warn.
Fauci urged anyone who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to remain calm.
During a White House press briefing on Apr. 13 discussing the decision to pause the vaccine's use, Fauci was asked by a reporter what his medical advice was for people who had recently received the Johnson & Johnson shot and had concerns about blood clots. He was quick to offer reassurance, saying: "If someone recently [received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine], within days, I would tell them to just, first of all, don't get an anxiety reaction." He also noted "it's less than one in a million" chance that blood clotting issues will develop.
Fauci also urged people who recently received the vaccine to "be alert" of any symptoms.
Besides remaining calm, Fauci also clarified that the 6.85 million people in the U.S. who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine could look out for certain red flags. But during an interview later that day on CBS Evening News, he explained it was likely not all recipients were at the same risk of this rare complication.
"It depends on when they got it. It appears that this adverse event occurs between six days and 13 days. So if you've had it a month or two ago, I think you really don't need to worry about anything," Fauci explained. "Having said that, you still wanna be alert to some symptoms, such as severe headache, some difficulty in movement, or some chest discomfort and difficulty breathing." And for more symptoms you should be watching out for, If This Happens After Your Vaccine, the FDA Says You Should Call 911.
Fauci doesn't believe the pause will stay in effect for very long.
The top health agencies' joint recommendation to pause the vaccine's use immediately raised questions about how the loss of one of only three approved vaccines in the U.S. would affect the ongoing national vaccination effort. But Fauci was confident that regulators would address any issues quickly and that the shot would soon come back into use.
"I believe this is going to take days to weeks as opposed to weeks to months," he said during an Apr. 14 interview on NBC's Today. "I think we're going to be hearing about a decision pretty quickly. I don't think this is going to drag out."
The overall safety and effectiveness of the vaccines has been proven, Fauci said.
Besides a sudden shortage of supplies, news of the pause had some concerned that the public's confidence in the vaccination process would be badly damaged. But Fauci was quick to assuage any fears about the shots, telling CBS News, "121 million people have received at least one dose of a vaccine," pointing out that the vast majority were Moderna and Pfizer with "no negative or adverse or red flag signal" developing as a result.
"In other words, they are very safe," he concluded. And for more on potential red flags after your shots, check out If 1 of These 3 Body Parts Starts Swelling Up After Your Vaccine, Call a Doctor.