DETROIT – The White House COVID Response Team said it is working with states to minimize any impact of the Johnson & Johnson pause.
At Wednesday’s briefing, the team sought to reassure Americans about the overall safety of the vaccines and the system in place to monitor them.
The team said the pause will not slow the vaccination efforts across the country as appointments are now shifted from the U.S. surplus of shots and extra doses will be put to use.
“I want to be clear that we have more than enough Pfizer and Moderna vaccine supply to continue or even accelerate the current pace of vaccinations,” said COVID response coordinator Jeff Zients.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Rochelle Walensky tried to reassure those who have already received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“For people who have received the vaccine more than a month ago, the risk of a blood clot is exceptionally low,” Walensky said. “For people who have received the vaccine recently, meaning within the last few weeks, they should be aware of their symptoms and immediately seek medical assistance with any symptoms of concern.”
As for concerns that the Johnson & Johnson pause will increase overall hesitancy, Dr. Anthony Fauci urged residents to take a different view: that the system in place can detect a one-in-a-million safety issue and those rare reactions will be investigated.
“It should reinforce in those individuals how we take safety so seriously,” Fauci said. “As opposed to looking at this as a negative safety issue, it could be looked at as a positive issue where they know that when we let a vaccine be available and give it a go ahead to be put into the arms of the American people, we do it with a considerable degree of confidence as to its safety.”
While residents want a 100% guarantee that the vaccines are 100% safe, the reality is that any drug or vaccine can have rare side effects and that you don’t find a one-in-a-million problem until you give it to millions of people.
Overall, the vaccines are proving to be incredibly safe and are being used to fight a virus that has already killed more than 563,000 Americans.