By Joshua Foster-Storch
As 2021 has progressed, COVID-19 vaccinations have been made more and more available, naturally there will be detractors and concern over the vaccines then there really should be. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been the most heavily scrutinized due to its notable side effects. Anti-vaxers of all sorts came flocking so that they could ridicule the handling of the vaccine. Their mindset is that if it is not 100% effective with zero side effects, which no vaccine is both, then it should not be made whatsoever. Which is why a reality check is needed.
Right now in the U.S., there are three different vaccines available to the public as a whole. Those vaccines are being produced by the pharmaceutical companies: Pfizer, Moderna, and the aforementioned Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The first two vaccines are markedly different than Johnson & Johnson for a few reasons. The first two are actually not made like other vaccines. Usually, a vaccine is made with the base being dead cells of the virus that they are trying to prevent exposure to. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are entirely different in that regard because they are made synthetically with mRNA. mRNA is a part of human DNA and acts as a natural suppressant in this regard to the virus. Each vaccine is received in two doses which are received about three or four weeks between each other. Side effects usually present after the second dose which include fever, cough and soreness. These vaccines range from 80-95% effectiveness
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is different as it is more of a traditional style of vaccine. It is the only one out of the three to be one dose and is about 65-75% effective. While it is less effective than the other two vaccines, it IS more effective than a vaccine such as the flu and its range of effectiveness is still quality for a first public run of a vaccine. The problem that many anti-vaxxers are finding with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is that some of its side effects are dangerous. One in particular that has been consistently singled out is that there is a risk of blood clots that comes with this vaccine. This has become an example of not making the outlier the rule. Out of the 7.4 million estimated people who have received the vaccine to date, only EIGHT people have developed blood clots directly as side effects from the vaccine. There’s also a chance of me getting struck by lightning in a storm but do just not go outside because it is raining?!
It is just ridiculous to me that people will blow such a thing like a vaccine so out of proportion to the point where eight out 7.4 MILLION are affected by a vaccine in this way. What needs to happen is that these vaccine distributors need to reassure people that it is safe for them to get the vaccine. They cannot just start adding and subtracting information about the vaccine and they must just put out a clear, concise statement backing their research.