May 7, 2021

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Despite Fauci’s confidence in the J&J shot following a pause, early polling suggests Americans are more hesitant to take it than Pfizer’s or Moderna’s shots

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Dr. Anthony Fauci. Graeme Jennings – Pool/Getty Images

  • In a new poll, 41% of Americans said they thought the J&J vaccine was very or somewhat unsafe.

  • The US paused the vaccine’s rollout on April 13. Doctors said it could hurt confidence in the shots.

  • Anthony Fauci said the pause, which ended Friday, would boost Americans’ confidence in vaccines.

  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

US officials said the decision to pause the rollout of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine would not hurt Americans’ trust in vaccines – but early polling suggests otherwise.

In a recent poll conducted by Langer Research Associates for ABC News and The Washington Post, 41% of respondents said they thought the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was very or somewhat unsafe. Roughly the same share of respondents – 46% – said they considered the vaccine very or somewhat safe.

In contrast, 73% of the respondents said they considered Pfizer’s vaccine safe, and 71% said they considered Moderna’s vaccine safe.

The poll involved a random sample of 1,007 adults in the US. Their responses were collected over the phone in English and Spanish from April 18 to 21.

The US paused the J&J vaccine rollout on April 13 after reports of rare blood clots in six people who had gotten the shot. The country resumed the use of the vaccine on Friday but added a warning to it about the risk of rare clots in women under 50.

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When asked on Sunday whether the pause had made people more hesitant to get the shot, Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical officer, told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, “I don’t think that’s ultimately going to be the case.”

Fauci added: “I think in the long run what we’re going to see – and we’ll probably see it soon – is that people will realize that we take safety very seriously.”

Doctors previously told Insider that the benefits of a vaccine greatly outweighed the risk of rare side effects and that the pause could diminish people’s confidence in vaccines.

The one-dose, easy-to-store Johnson & Johnson vaccine has helped vulnerable Americans, like those in rural areas and those without homes, easily get vaccinated. The pause forced temporary closures of some vaccine clinics in rural places and slowed the pace of vaccinations in prisons, Insider’s Aria Bendix reported.

President Joe Biden stood by the decision to pause the J&J vaccine, saying on April 13 that it would boost Americans’ confidence in the vaccines.

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Paul Stoffels, the chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson, said in a press release on Friday: “We will collaborate with health authorities around the world to educate healthcare professionals and the public to ensure this very rare event can be identified early and treated effectively.” The company had no additional comment to provide Insider.

The White House was not immediately available for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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