Dr. Francis Collins, the Director of the National Institutes of Health, said the side effects linked to Johnson & Johnson’s Covid vaccine such as blood clots, are extremely rare, and lower than that of commonly used drug aspirin, the New York Times reported.
On “Meet the Press”, Collins told NBC host Chuck Todd that the vaccine side effects are about a thousand times less likely than experiencing intestinal bleeding from taking aspirin.
In mid-April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had temporarily halted the usage of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot COVID-19 vaccine after six recipients developed a rare blood clotting disorder following the administration of more than 6.8 million doses. All those affected were women aged between 18 and 48.
However, following a thorough safety review by health regulators, the FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control decided to resume vaccinations with Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.
Collins noted that the blood-clotting issues may sound scary, but the vaccine comes with a lower risk of adverse side effects than the over-the-counter medication used to reduce pain, fever, or inflammation.
He said, “The risk of aspirin inducing a significant intestinal bleed is much higher than what we’re talking about here, something in the neighborhood of one in 500, one in a thousand for people who regularly take aspirin. We’re talking about something here that’s about a thousand times less likely to happen…. we Americans, we’re not that good at this kind of risk calculation.”
Collins also defended federal health regulators’ decision to resume Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine shot without restrictions. According to him, when one measures the risk against the benefits of preventing somebody from dying of Covid, there’s no comparison.
“We clearly have a situation where the benefits greatly outweigh the risks, even for younger women,” he added.
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