February 28, 2024

“I will often say that the risk of getting a blood clot with birth control pills is similar to having a serious reaction to penicillin,” said Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, a gynecologist and the CEO of Power to Decide, a group dedicated to reducing unwanted pregnancies. She often discusses the risk of blood clots with her patients, explaining the increase in risk and the overall size of that risk. Most patients, she said, choose their birth control method based on other considerations.

What You Need To Know About The Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Break In The United States

    • On April 13, 2021, U.S. health officials called for an immediate halt to use of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose Covid-19 vaccine after six recipients in the U.S. developed a rare blood clot disorder within one to three weeks of vaccination.
    • All 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico have temporarily suspended use of the vaccine or suspended from recommended vendors. The U.S. military, government-run vaccination centers, and a variety of private companies, including CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart, and Publix, also paused the injections.
    • Fewer than one in a million Johnson & Johnson vaccinations are currently being studied. If there is indeed a risk of blood clots from the vaccine – which has yet to be determined – the risk is extremely small. The risk of contracting Covid-19 in the United States is much higher.
    • The hiatus could complicate the country’s vaccination efforts at a time when many states are facing spikes in new cases and are trying to address vaccine hesitation.
    • Johnson & Johnson has also decided to delay the launch of its vaccine in Europe amid concerns about rare blood clots, which is taking another blow to the vaccine surge in Europe. South Africa, devastated by a contagious variant of the virus found there, also stopped using the vaccine. Australia announced that it would not buy cans.

Penicillin, a widely used antibiotic, causes serious allergic reactions in 10,000 to 10,000 patients.

For vaccines, however The safety threshold is generally higher than with other types of medication. As many researchers have found, Covid-19 also carries the risk of serious blood clots – much more than any plausible estimate of the vaccine’s effectiveness. But not everyone who doesn’t get vaccinated gets sick.

“The disease you happen to get and the vaccine you choose to get and that makes it harder,” said Dr. Steven Black, Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital studying vaccine safety.

Other vaccines are much less likely to have serious adverse events than birth control pills or penicillin – they generally affect less than 1 in 100,000 people who receive a given vaccine. That rate is “clearly much, much lower than what is tolerated for a drug,” said Dr. Nicola Klein, director of the Kaiser Permanente vaccine study center involved in the Vaccine Safety Datalink study.

Most other vaccines protect against diseases that are rather rare. In contrast, Covid-19 is still widespread in the United States and many parts of the world. Given the severity of the disease and how easily it spreads, the value of vaccination may now be greater than if such compromises are normally considered.