FDA’s new warning on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine shouldn’t be feared, health experts say
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration announced a new warning on the single-dose Johnson and Johnson COVID vaccine.
The CDC said around 12.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the United States. Out of those, about 100 preliminary reports of Guillain-Barré Syndrome have been detected.
Health officials are saying the benefits of the shot outweigh the risk.
“The main difference between Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer and Moderna, the Johnson & Johnson set up, the way it’s made is very similar to some vaccines that we’ve used for years and the flu vaccine has this same side effect,” Dr. Eric Yazel with the Clark County Health Department said.
Guillain-Barré Syndrome is a rare condition in which the body’s immune system damages nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis.
“It starts in the lower extremities and you’ll just gradually have some progressive weakness,” Yazel said. “So at first your legs may feel kind of heavy, then it may progress to like weakness and even to the point where you’re having difficulty walking.”
The FDA said in most of these people, symptoms began within 42 days of receiving their Johnson & Johnson dose.
Yazel said this new warning shouldn’t discourage anyone from taking the one-dose shot.
“This is a side effect that’s very similar to every other vaccine of its class,” Yazel added. “It’s almost an expected side effect, I would just say again, the risk benefits, COVID and its side effects are way worst than any of the things we’re talking about right now.”
In a statement, Johnson & Johnson said the safety and well-being of the people who use their products is the company’s number one priority. The company also added the chance of having this side-effect is very low.
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