Johnson & Johnson vaccine back on the menu, demand way down

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The quickest way to full vaccination from COVID is back on the menu in the Central Valley.

On Friday, the CDC and FDA cleared the way to restart Johnson & Johnson shots, but the decision to pause vaccinations may have permanently changed the way people look at vaccines.

More than 43,000 people in the Central Valley have gotten the Johnson & Johnson vaccination and none have had the extremely rare blood clot side effect.

But it seems to have lost its popularity here and across the country.

The vaccination chair at Sang Pediatrics was empty Monday.

The doctor's office is one of nine locations the county lists as providing Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 shots.

The chair is empty partly because of the recent pause prompted by serious but extremely rare blood clots.

"The Johnson & Johnson pause for a week, week-and-a-half has actually decreased demand quite significantly for the one-and-done shot," said Dr. New Sang. "Before, people liked the convenience of the Johnson & Johnson, but now they're afraid about safety."

Dr. Sang's experience agrees with the results of a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.

Only 46% of Americans interviewed last week said they think the single dose vaccine is safe.

Exactly 73% of unvaccinated Americans said they would not accept a J&J shot.

Out of 8 million doses administer so far, the CDC found 15 women suffered from blood clots, but concluded the benefits outweigh the risk.

Dr. Sang says doctors are now ready to mitigate the very rare problems.

"Now that we had the pause, it actually allowed a lot of physicians in the hospitals across the nation to understand how to identify and treat the blood clots that may occur with Johnson & Johnson," he said.

He says the pause shows the American vaccination safety system works.

But if people are still wary of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine, they have two other choices to protect themselves and the people around them.

"If they prefer the Moderna and Pfizer, it's available and I suggest everybody get their shots as soon as possible because the sooner everyone's fully vaccinated, the sooner we can all move on from this pandemic," said Dr. Sang.

Johnson & Johnson has already shipped out more than 20 million vaccine doses in the U.S. and pledged to produce 100 million by the end of next month.
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