These doctors say the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause should inspire more confidence in COVID-19 vaccines

These doctors say the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause should inspire more confidence in COVID-19 vaccines

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The pause in Johnson & Johnson vaccines has some people feeling hesitant, even distrustful, of COVID-19 vaccines.

But two University of Virginia Health doctors say the pause can actually be a huge help to increase trust in the shots.

The less than one-in-a-million occurrence of rare, but potentially dangerous, blood clotting is pulling J&J shots from distribution sites.

Critical Care Physician Dr. Ebony Hilton says the quick pause should give people faith that any vaccine will only be given if it continues to prove its safety.

“Now we know in the United States that if there’s an issue with any of the vaccines that there is an agency in charge of saying ‘hey, we’re going to pause, reflect, look at the data’” she said.

Hilton says this level of transparency is proof that safety is top of mind among government, scientists, and vaccine companies.

“What I appreciate with the system is that when there’s any sign that there needs to be a pause to investigate, to make sure that safety is kept first, that should build the trust within the American public,” she said. “This is not just a rushed out process.”

University of Virginia’s Dr. Dan Engel, a professor of microbiology, echoes Hilton’s praise.

“Any kind of news like this is understandably going to cause concern” he said. “But at the same time, it does really indicate how seriously and transparently we’re taking this issue of safety.”

Engel and Hilton are both fully vaccinated, and they say the news should not deter you from getting your shot.

“The risk of getting COVID-19 and some of the serious consequences and even death from COVID-19 is much, much, much higher than the risk of any kind of adverse event that we’ve seen with the vaccine,” Engel said.

Both doctors say it’s important to speak with your primary care physician, especially if you have health concerns and are wondering which vaccine is best for you.

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