Covid and J&J Pause

Updated 4/14/21 1:30 ET with recordings, summary

Dr. Daniel B. Fagbuyi joins Community thru Covid April 14 to discuss the sudden “pause” in distribution of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine, special information for those who received the J&J vaccine, and what this pause means for vaccine access more generally. Dr. Dan, as he is known by patients, is a physician and professor who has served as Special Medical Advisor to the FDA and on the U.S. National Biodefense Science Board. (Full biography and more at DocDanMD).

From Dr. Dan’s Remarks

For those who received the J&J vaccine:

There are many “EXPECTED effects” — normal bodily responses to the shot, which some patients will experience and others won’t. Dr. Dan said these are often called “side-effects,” but he prefers to emphasize that there are normal, expected responses to the shot. These include aches, flu-like symptoms, lump under the arm — in the days immediately following a shot. NONE OF THESE are signals of the rare blood clotting condition, which six people out of 6.8 million have experienced with the Johnson & Johnson shot.

The CDC reports that the danger signs are severe pains in the head, abdomen, or legs around, usually occurring about nine days after the J&J vaccine, none sooner than one week or later than three weeks following the shot.

The CDC also notes, and Dr. Dan reiterated, that the six cases so far have all involved women between the ages of 18 and 48. (In response to a press query, CDC and FDA officials said there is no link, BTW, with oral contraceptives.)

Whatever your age and gender: Dr. Dan encourages those who “experience something that is not right” to seek medical care.

Following any vaccine:

Dr. Dan tells us that anyone can self-report adverse reaction (VAERS — Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting ) to U.S. Health and Human Services

Dr. Dan also points those interested in more follow-up to vaccines to the V-Safe health check application from CDC

Risk Assessment:

Dr. Dan points out that a blood clot is a “significant event” for the individual and their families. He notes, however, that between 1 in 5 and 1 in 10 people who develop Covid-19 will experience a blood clot, while the risk so far is 1 in 1,000,000 for the vaccine.

Dr. Dan encourages everyone to be informed and have clear reasons when opting in or out of being vaccinated. He says we should all be able to understand and have an explanation we can share for why we are choosing to be or not be vaccinated.

Vaccinations are for individuals and families as well as for the larger community. We are only as safe as the “weakest vaccine link,” he notes — and that might include your nextdoor neighbor whom you don’t know or your out-of-town, even overseas, cousin: We’re all connected:

“We could be in this pandemic for years, if we don’t do this right!”

Slam Covid-19 for National Poetry Month

From a few months into the pandemic, long before a vaccine was available, local students share powerful perspectives on Covid and what it did to their high school experiences and expectations. (more here)

See also this week’s installment of “Pandemics and Economics in History.” Episode #9: Amateur in Econ-Land: Is the Intersection with Race Near Here? Full text, citations, and links (coming soon)

Community thru Covid airs weekly on Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to noon EASTERN. Listen live on We Act Radio (audio only) or YouTube (video and audio). Check back for recordings posted shortly after air-time.


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