Here’s some important information for those of you trying to decide which, if any, COVID-19 vaccine you will be taking.
The COVID-19 vaccine has garnered a lot of controversy, concern, and consternation over the past several months. Particularly in the Black community where many of us are or were skeptical about taking medicine that appeared to be created “so quickly.” The truth is that COVID vaccines have been under development for years as the “-19” version is not the first time that medical professionals have been aware of the disease. That said, for the past year, scientists have been hard at work to develop a response to this particular strain.
That brings us to today’s news that the Johnson & Johnson version of the vaccine has produced 6 cases of rare blood clots in women who age between the ages of 18 and 48. According to a New York Times report, both the CDC and the FDA have called for an immediate pause to be put on the brand’s medicine until it can be determined what is causing these potentially fatal side effects. One woman has already passed away and another has been hospitalized in critical condition. It is reported that almost 7 million people have already received the J&J vaccine and another 9 million have already been sent out. While these cases are certainly disturbing, they are also do not validate conspiracy theorists’ paranoia that the government is trying to kill us all. This is medicine. Almost every medicine has side effects that can potentially be harmful. We all go into these situations knowing this.
“We are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution,” Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, and Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the C.D.C., said in a joint statement. “Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare.”
Cases of COVID-19 are still surging in some states and protection from infection is still very important. If you are willing to take the vaccine, try to get access to the Pfizer or Moderna variants for your own peace of mind. If the only one you have access to is J&J, consult your physician and see what they recommend. But as we previously mentioned, 7 million other cases appear to be just fine.
Public confidence will be a major part of defeating increased infections in America and this news will without question challenge that. The silver lining to this cloud is that this information was made public. It did not have to be “exposed” by some shady Reddit post or QAnon. All we can say is listen to your health professionals and educate yourself appropriately.