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Should I Be Worried About the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine?

¿Debo Preocuparme Si Me Puse La Vacuna de Johnson & Johnson?

It seemed like a cruel joke on April 13th, but it was not. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the entities responsible for overseeing everything health related in the United States, made a surprise announcement that the use of the Johnson & Johnson laboratory's vaccine against COVID-19 was put on hold due to the investigation of a potential link to cases of clots or thrombosis and low platelets. (1)

We know that you may be confused and concerned about this news, especially if you are female. You might have already been vaccinated with this option, or you were getting prepared to do so in the next few days. A lot of uncertainty, fear, and alarm about side effects – but that's what we’re here for: to clarify your most important and valid doubts.

  • Please keep in mind that the recommendation to suspend use of the Johnson & Johnson (J & J) vaccine is a preventive measure. There is currently no ban on the product.

  • There were 6 reported cases of women aged 18 to 48 who presented coagulation and a reduced number of platelets within 13 days of receiving the vaccine. One of these patients died while another is in serious condition. However, the individual health conditions and/or habits of each woman, which may have impacted their case, are not yet known. That is precisely why we need clarification to understand if there truly is a link to the vaccine or if it is circumstantial.

  • It is also important to take into consideration that 6.8 million people in the United States have received the same vaccine so far. These 6 cases equate to a chance of 1 in more than one million.

  • According to records kept by health care providers distributing the vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna and J & J), the J & J vaccine has not presented any serious side effects.

What do the experts say?

Remain calm and do not panic. The recommendation is only a preventive measure, as has been done previously whenever reactions appear after the distribution of a vaccine. This is a time to wait while regulatory agencies do their job and study and verify the circumstances.

In addition, even if these reported cases turn out to be actual side effects of the vaccine, the percentage is infinitely lower than the chance of getting infected with COVID-19 and not suffering the most severe symptoms or death. Even in the worst-case scenario, receiving a vaccine is better than getting infected.

Who should pay more attention to possible side effects?

Physicians like Dr. Juan has mentioned that for those who received the J & J vaccine a month or longer ago, there is no risk.

If you received it a few days or even a few weeks ago and you experience the symptoms listed below, you should contact your doctor immediately to verify the source.

  • Severe headache
  • Severe abdominal pain

  • Leg pain

  • Shortness of breath

Don’t try to take any action on your own. Let a health care provider suggest what you should do, such as taking an aspirin daily after the vaccine to prevent blood clots. These types of recommendations should be made by a medical professional, not word of mouth. Do not take your own preventive measures; follow only the suggestions of your doctor, who knows your specific condition. This is the least indicated moment to self-medicate.

It is most likely that within a few days or weeks, the authorities will have an answer regarding the origin of the 6 cases of adverse side effects following the J & J vaccine. This can help make the vaccine available again sooner.

In any case, the vaccination process in the country continues with Pfizer and Moderna, following the pace set by the government. You can make an appointment today or go directly to a vaccination site in your area.

Whether you've been vaccinated yet or not, continue to keep your body as strong as possible by:

  • Sleeping 7 to 8 hours a day

  • Exercising daily

  • Managing stress

  • Eating a healthy diet

  • Strengthening your immune system with what has been proven to boost defenses, minerals like zinc and magnesium, vitamins including C and D, herbs such as echinacea and pigments like quercetin, among others. (2)[b]

As Dr. Juan says, let us take this alert as a good sign that the health authorities' precautionary system is working. That alone is reassuring enough.

Check out the video of Dr. Juan discussing more on the topic.

Let's continue the road towards being healthier, together.

Your Santo Remedio Team

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