Johnson and Johnson is the fear justified?


Sean Hedderman and Aleigh Albanese, Journalism

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine was approved Feb, 28th, 2021, and for a while had no issues. Around 8 million doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine were distributed; 15 people developed a rare syndrome. All of them had three things in common, they were all women, they were between the ages of 18-48, and they all had developed syndrome between 6-13 days after getting the J&J vaccine. After the correlation was made, J&J was halted by the CDC and FDA. They reviewed the cases of the women who had gotten the extremely rare blood clotting disorder known as Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome or TTS for short.   


 TTS causes blood platelets to lower which creates clots. It causes blood to drain from the brain called central venous sinus thrombosis. The side effect with halting the vaccine is that it caused more fear about vaccines and caused a major downshift in people getting vaccines.


 Although the fear is unjustified, people are fearful of getting this rare disorder. The problem is that it’s so rare that it’s almost impossible to contract. Doctors still suggest getting the vaccine since there is such a tiny chance of getting TTS. It’s seen as irrelevant compared to the positives of the vaccine. The chances of getting TTS from Johnson and Johnson are 8,000,000 to 15 or .000001875% chance. Because of that, after reviewing the risks and benefits of the vaccine the CDC recommended it continued to be made with the added info about the rare chance of having TTS. 


With no other side effects being found in the J&J vaccine, as well as the others such as pfizer, the CDC and FDA lifted the halting of J&J April, 23rd, with the added information that there is an extremely rare case of getting TTS. The CDC and FDA also suggested that if you have gotten severe headaches, abdominal, leg pain or shortness of breath to immediately contact your healthcare provider. 


Although the J&J is seen as the best vaccine for its ease of use, ease of storage, and the negligible chance of complications with the vaccine, people are still worried more complications will come. Although we are ready for the added future complications, it may lower approval of vaccines.


With the recent uprising in the J&J vaccine, we asked others how they feel about the vaccine. Here’s what they said…


What do you think about the johnson and johnson vaccine?

(1)”I think it’s a great vaccine, it’s a lot easier to use and distribute than the others.”


(2)”Given that we are facing a global pandemic, it makes no sense not to be vaccinated unless you are in a high risk category.  The side effects of the vaccine appear to be minimal in comparison to the significant problems getting COVID-19, and the long term effects that have been documented even with mild cases.  The J&J vaccine is a single shot, and is modeled after other types of flu vaccines, unlike the new type of vaccine Moderna and Pfizer that have no long term testing or history.”


Do you think johnson and johnson are fit to make vaccines?

(1)”Yes, without a doubt. If they have scientists that know what they’re doing then yes”


(2)”Johnson Pharmaceuticals has been in the business of making drugs for many years prior to being acquired by Johnson & Johnson.   Governments would not have disbursed the vaccine unless it met minimum safety and efficacy protocols through the CDC.”


After we informed our interviewees of possible outcomes for the vaccines, TTS and severe flu like symptoms, we asked more broad questions about the vaccine in general. Here is what they said…


Would you be willing to take the vaccine johnson and johnson made?

(1)”Yes, I would definitely get it.”

(2)”Yes.  Given the fatal nature of COVID-19 I believe that it is unacceptable not to take the vaccine and risk spreading the virus that results in death and long term ailments.”


Do you think their vaccine should be discontinued?

(1)”Not at all, it has such a little chance of side effects I’m not worried.”


(2)”Absolutely.  Similar to fly vaccines, there is no 100% guarantee that anyone vaccinated are completely immune to COVID.  In fact there are numbers of people who have gotten COVID even after being vaccinated.  For the foreseeable future, social distancing and hypervigilance with hygiene, not going to crowded venues without social distancing will be necessary.  We will never return to the prior social situations that everyone wants to.  There will never be the normal of pre-COVID.”


We realize that some weren’t willing to take the vaccine, when we asked our interviewees how they felt about it, regardless of the brand, here’s what they said…


Are you getting the vaccine?



(2)Yes.  I prefer to take a known type of vaccine, rather than the new type that has no long term testing or history


Do you have any concerns about the other vaccines?

(1)” Not really besides possibly not being handled correctly.”


(2)”Only that there is limited research and no long term history of these drugs.  As in any new drug, the potential for long term impacts is unknown and the benefits to society outweigh the risks at this time.”


In conclusion, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is nothing to be worried about. With this extended research, we hope we broadened your perspective.