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There are 8 comments on Pausing J&J Vaccine Rollout Is a Move to Keep Public Trust

  1. What are the benefits of the covid vaccines? Most everyone has already been exposed to the old variants, and the new variants will escape the vaccine just like they do for the flu.

    What are the risks? Well, J&J was absolutely safe (although experimental) just a few days ago… What we will find out 10, 20 years from now? Autoimmune diseases, higher rates of cancer due to increase in inflammation, more deadly course of the subsequent covid infections, who knows?

  2. Well, it’s not like a government/governmental entity has ever lied to The People before .. nothing to fear here .. just stay hidden under your bed until Super Joe gives a thumbs up while wearing his aviator glasses and flashing the million dollar smile

  3. While I agree with much of what has been said, I think that we are seeing a lot of waffling on the numbers.
    First, the venous sinus blood clots have ONLY been observed in women. So the claim that this event occurred six times out of ~seven million doses assumes that we are talking about seven million women vaccinated, which is surely not the case. So the actual event rate in women is about 1/500,000 – still small.
    But second, the events have only occurred in younger women who comprise a much smaller fraction of vaccinees, probably less than a third. In which case we are talking about an event rate closer to 1/125,000. That is still favorable from a risk benefit standpoint, but within this age range the risk of contracting and dying of CV19 is quite small, probably on the order of 1/10,000.
    All of that would still favor the use of a CV19 vaccine, but in this case we have two other vaccines built using different technology that have been far more widely deployed. Over 130 million US citizens have been vaccinated so far, and the J&J vaccine only accounts for 7 million of those. If we had no alternatives then we could legitimately debate the risks and benefits and probably would conclude that the vaccine is still the right choice. But we are not forced into that situation because we have alternatives that are actually safer from this perspective and more widely available still than the J&J. In my view, FDA absolutely did the right thing given these realities.

  4. In my view, the decision to “pause” the use of J&J vaccine is an error, given the very facts that Dr. Douam provides. Public health people constantly use the term “safe” to describe the acceptability of an intervention. The statutory standard for drug approval in the U.S. is that the therapy is “safe and effective.” These are, sadly, misleading terms as they are perceived by the public. There are literally no “safe and effective” drugs if one takes these terms literally. The real standard, as those terms are actually applied , is that a substance is safe and effective ENOUGH for its proposed purpose. As a stark example, cancer chemotherapies are poisons when administered to a healthy person, but are medicines when administered to people with cancer. Chemotherapy can, and does, cause deaths. And, they are far from 100% effective. But they do meet the real standard of “safe and effective enough.”

    It is no surprise that Covid vaccines will cause serious side effects to some people. Similarly they are not 100% effective. it should not be news (although it sadly makes headlines) that some vaccinated people will become infected with Covid- that’s what 95% effectiveness means.

    The fact that fewer than 1 in a million J&J recipients had serious side effects and that a small number of people become infected should be used as “teaching moments” to explain to the public what these numbers mean. If there’s ia any argument for “pausing” the use of J&J vaccine, it would be to pause its use for women between the ages of 18 and 46, which is the only population that manifested these extremely rare, serious side effects. There is no science that justifies “pausing” its use for 65yo+ men or women, for example.

    The use of the term “pause” means that the use of the J&J vaccine is expected to resume, Indeed, Dr. Douam said, “I have absolutely no concerns about the safety profile of the J&J vaccine. I am concerned, however, about the public losing trust in this critical [public health] tool that could bend the trend of this pandemic [in the right direction].” If he has “absolutely no concern,” which makes perfect sense in the context of these rare side effects, then there is no medical or scientific basis for “pausing” its use. Unlike Dr. Douam, I am very doubtful that the “pause” will enhance “public trust.” When the use of J&J vaccine is resumed, the six cases of blood clots (it may well be a few more by the time its use is resumed) will exist. What the public will remember is that scientists based the “pause” those very same 6 cases which will not suddenly disappear. It will be necessary to explain why those six cases justified a “pause” but does not justify a permanent suspension of its use. That will be the very same justification that could have been used to inform the public why chose to not curren suspending its use, even in light of those serious (though rare) side effects.

    I fully understand It is hard to explain risks and benefits to the public. Public health must accept its responsibility for that the public’s ignorance and misunderstanding about these concepts.This was a real opportunity to explain how to rationally apply these concepts to making public. If we fail to continue to try to improve public literacy of these concepts, and start to treat the public like adults, public misunderstandings of these concepts will only get worse.

    We must hope there will be no discovery of one-in-a million side effects for the other vaccines currently being administered. Should that occur, we now have a precedent for “pausing” the use of those vaccines, too. At the very least, continuing use of those vaccines will be very difficult to justify to the public who will be no better informed about how “safe and effective” vaccines can have serious side effects and fail to protect a small percentage of recipients from infection.

  5. Pausing is absolutely the correct approach until scientists identify which groups can safely receive the vaccination, especially given that less worrying alternatives exist. It also is key to look past the headline “6 cases in 7 million.” Which less deadly but extremely undesirable vaccine effects are not being aired? I reported to VAERS after my J&J last week produced the worst headache of my healthy 63 years of life, with my brain feeling “damaged” and foggy for another two days. This is certainly the worst reaction I’ve experienced to any vaccine and nothing is known about the potential long-term fallout, including future reactions to “booster” COVID vaccines.

    1. I also had the J&J vaccine. Other than the usual temporary sore arm, I had no reactions. The fact you had a bad reaction and I had no reaction, tells us absolutely nothing about what policy makers should do. Those are simply our stories and nothing more. It is true, and unfortunate, that personal anecdotes often influence others more than actual data, but that is not something we should encourage.

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