PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is on pause over blood clot concerns in a handful of women. Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley joined Eyewitness News Wednesday morning to discuss the effect this will have on Philadelphia’s vaccination progress.
The current pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is not expected to have a huge impact in Philadelphia because the city was able to quickly switch to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines at the public sites, Farley says.READ MORE: Thousands Protest Outside Philadelphia City Hall After Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade
He says the people who have already gotten the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should not be concerned.
“They shouldn’t be concerned,” Farley said. “This has happened, again, one in a million people who get vaccinated. Generally happened in the first two weeks after the vaccine, so most people who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are past that window. Also, just to point out, it is much more widely for people to have complications from the infection than the vaccine, so people really shouldn’t be worried about the vaccine — should be more worried about the epidemic and protecting themselves from that.”
Farley says with the pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, anyone 16 and older who is looking to receive the COVID-19 vaccine should begin scheduling their appointments now. He hopes everyone who is eligible receives the vaccine.
Many people are wondering how long it will be until the CDC resumes the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and what it will look like moving forward. Farley says first they will probably wait to see if more cases come to light in the United States.READ MORE: Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Allowing States To Ban Abortion
“Then look to see whether there is a common pattern here, looks like maybe related to the vaccine or just random occurrence, it could be that,” Farley said. “The CDC people have said that they may be able to restart the vaccine in a matter of days, we will follow their recommendations.”
The federal government is reportedly going to get enough additional vaccine doses of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines in order to start on target in case the pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine continues.
Farley is reminding people that the complications to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are extremely rare and once you are eligible residents should not be hesitant to get vaccinated.
“As we pointed out, if it is a complication with the Johnson & Johnson it is extremely rare, like the likelihood of getting struck by lightning. Also, the other vaccines available are fundamentally different technology. Now, 190 million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine have not seen this complication so those are extraordinarily safe,” Farley said.
Meantime, preliminary results from Moderna’s Phase Three Trials show its vaccine is more than 90% effective for at least six months after vaccination. The vaccine is also said to be more than 95% effective against severe disease.MORE NEWS: Roe v. Wade Overturned: Officials In Philadelphia Region React To Supreme Court Ruling Allowing States To Ban Abortion
The CDC is holding an emergency meeting Wednesday to discuss the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.