Here’s what you need to know – WSOC TV

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A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory board met Friday and recommended lifting the pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The decision comes 10 days after the agency along with the Federal Drug Administration recommended that the vaccine be paused to investigate its possible link to rare blood clots. According to the CDC, there have been fifteen cases of blood clots out of the 7.9 million doses administered, which is more than double the six cases initially reported.

Health officials said all of the 15 cases were women — most of them in their 30s. Three of the women have died, but it’s still unknown if the Johnson & Johnson vaccine contributed to the clots.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s independent vaccine advisory panel — decided that the benefits of the Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine outweighed the potential risk and recommended that the pause should be lifted. The motion carried by a 10-4 vote, with one abstention.

If the CDC director signs off on the recommendation, doses could be back in the vaccine rotation within a few days.

The agency said mild side effects with COVID vaccines are not uncommon, especially after the second doses of Pfizer and Moderna because the immune response to the second shot is stronger.

According to the CDC, within a day or two, people may notice the following symptoms:

  • tiredness
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • chills
  • fever
  • nausea

The CDC found that out of 13.7 million Americans vaccinated during December and January, side effects were higher among women. Nearly 79% of women reported adverse reactions — the most common were headache, fatigue and dizziness.

62 people also reported having a severe allergic reaction. Of them, 46 got the Pfizer vaccine and 16 got Moderna.

Health officials across the globe have said the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks. Still, fewer Americans are now rushing to get vaccinated.

The daily average of shots is now below 3 million a day for the first time in weeks.

(The map below shows estimated vaccine hesitancy. The areas in darker blue show where Americans are resisting the vaccine the most.)

Novant Health officials talked about the impact Friday’s decision could have on the race to get people vaccinated.

Dr. Ashley Perrott is a family medicine physician and senior physician executive with Novant Health Medical Group. She said although the panel’s decision could impact some people’s desire to get the Johnson & Johnson product, there are still some people who would want it.

“There is a small group of people who still have a preference for J&J even with this pause that has occurred. So, we will likely along with HD and other organizations continue to give J&J though we expect fewer people will be interested in that vaccine since there has been a pause,” Perrott said.

Resident Keith Goodman got the Moderna vaccine Friday, but that wasn’t his first choice.

“I like a one shot deal. These are two shots, that was one shot. I could have got one. I wouldn’t have had to wait,” he said.

When Goodman heard that federal officials paused the J&J product, he told Channel 9 he decided to go with another product, but said some of his friends decided not to get vaccinated at all.

“I do know a lot of people. They have decided they don’t want to get a vaccine on account of this Johnson & Johnson, they want to see what happens on account of it. Before they were getting a vaccine.”

Kelci Trhams manages Moose Pharmacy in Concord.

“I have noticed a decrease in vaccination recently. I’m not sure if it is due to the J&J vaccine or due to our ability to get more vaccine,” Trhams said.

Both Moose Pharmacy and Novant Health told Channel 9 that they’ll continue to provide the information that people need to help them make an informed choice about vaccination.

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