I'd rather take my chances: Why pausing J&J's vaccine is a bad idea.

With the pause on the delivery of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, we have not only deprived some of the most at-risk individuals of protection against COVID-19, but we have also irreversibly diminished the value of the vaccines in the eyes of the public. The jab will come back but the damage has been done to the image of all vaccines.

A huge spotlight has been placed on 6 women who had blood clots in recent days, 1 of whom tragically died. These women happen to be 6 of 7,000,000 people who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Drawing a non-causal connection, the CDC has called for a pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Blood clots affects up to 100,000 individuals a year, an incidence rate of about 3.0 in 10,000 for women1 (with the toll slightly higher for men).2 Compare that with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine “tied” blood clotting issue in women between the ages of 18 – 48 where the values of this “increased incidence” is 0.06 in 10,000 women 18-48 who received the vaccine. Never mind that car accidents have a death toll of 1.2 in 10,0003 or that women whom use birth control take the risk of increased blood clot with the incidence rate of about 1 in 3004, COVID-19 itself has killed 17.1 in 10,000 Americans5. We are comparing a 0.06 and a 17.1 rate.

With COVID-19 being the biggest public health crisis of our time, we are desperately in need of as many vaccinations as possible. Pausing or throwing away a time dependent supply of a life saving measure is not only inadvisable, it is a misinformed and dangerous act.

So, if given the opportunity to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, I’ll take my chances.

· From female scientists, everywhere