Grand Rapids doctor says J&J vaccine pause is 'opportunity to convey what is known'

johnson & johnson vaccine medical
Posted at 9:05 AM, Apr 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-14 09:05:50-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Grand Rapids doctor said the pause in the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine is not a bad thing.

That’s because it gives experts an opportunity to review the data on the six cases of a rare blood clot in individuals who had gotten the vaccine, says Dr. Abha Gupta Varma.

“It is a collective stop and offers an opportunity to convey what is known to the public and physician community,” Varma said. “It offers a playbook on a 1 in a million and otherwise extremely rare illness, along with its symptoms, diagnosis and its management. It offers the recipients in the community the appropriate knowledge of symptoms, and it arms the treating medical community with the appropriate seriousness and approach to this otherwise rare event. It is in effect: a time out.”

Varma added that scientists will determine whether or not to alter the approach in disseminating the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

It’s also important to note that the six blood clot cases are out of about 6.85 million doses that have been delivered.

“Speculation is natural but should not replace thoughtful and timely appraisal of the available data,” Varma said.

SEE MORE: Emergency meeting to be held today after pause on Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

SEE MORE: Local health departments suspend use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

SEE MORE: J&J COVID vaccine in west Michigan by the numbers