Poll: Confidence in Johnson & Johnson vaccine drops after CDC pauses use

Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine
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Americans’ confidence in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has dropped following the U.S. government’s decision to pause distribution due to reports of rare blood clots, according to an Economist-YouGov poll released Thursday. 

The study, which began before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended the pause Tuesday, found that about 52 percent of U.S. adults believed the Johnson & Johnson shot was “very safe” or “somewhat safe” prior to the pause. 

After the news Tuesday, just 37 percent indicated that they believed the inoculation was safe, with 39 percent feeling it is unsafe. 

The Economist-YouGov poll also found that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has also experienced reduced public confidence amid concerns on blood clots.

Approximately 38 percent of Americans said they believed in the safety of the AstraZeneca shot, which has not been approved for emergency use in the U.S.

Meanwhile, the shots from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which along with Johnson & Johnson have received FDA emergency approval, are viewed much more positively among Americans.

According to Thursday’s poll, roughly 58 percent believe the two-dose mRNA vaccines are safe, a percentage which YouGov noted is relatively unchanged from its last vaccine poll in February. 

The decision Tuesday to halt the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which has already been administered to about 7 million people, came after six women who received the shot developed blood clots. One woman died, and another is in critical condition.

An independent advisory group to the CDC said Wednesday that it was postponing making a recommendation on the shot until it reviews more evidence about a possible link between the inoculation and the blood clots. 

The distribution pause has fueled concerns about increasing vaccine hesitancy that could complicate further efforts to combat COVID-19. 

“A global pause of the J&J vaccine seems excessive given the popular mythologies that are likely to arise from this statement for all vaccines,” Prabhjot Singh, a physician and global health expert at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, told The Hill Tuesday. 

However, Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said Wednesday that he believes the halt could actually diminish vaccine hesitancy by showing how seriously federal agencies are taking vaccine safety.

The Economist-YouGov poll, conducted from Saturday to Tuesday, surveyed nearly 1,500 U.S. adults and reported a margin of error of roughly 3 percentage points.

Tags Anthony Fauci AstraZeneca blood clots Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; CDC coronavirus vaccine Economist/YouGov FDA johnson & johnson Pfizer; BioNtech; Moderna vaccine distribution Vaccine hesitancy YouGov poll

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