Jacksonville pharmacist worries about vaccine hesitancy after J&J pause

VIDEO: Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine is on hold. Now, one Jacksonville pharmacist is concerned people won’t get vaccinated anymore.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine is on hold. Now, one Jacksonville pharmacist is concerned people won’t get vaccinated anymore.

But, he said people still need to get vaccinated.

“The risk of COVID-19 including complications and including the death of COVID-19 once contracted are much higher than even these rare blood clot events,” said Dr. Kevin Duane, with Panama Pharmacy in Jacksonville.

Dr. Duane has been vaccinating with Moderna and Pfizer six days a week and he hopes that the pause by Johnson & Johnson doesn’t stop people from protecting themselves from COVID-19.

On Tuesday morning, Duane became concerned about halting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after he saw the announcement.

There has been overall hesitation about the vaccinations, reports of minor side effects. In addition, underserved communities and minorities have been hesitant to get the vaccine, too.

Duane worries the halt announced in this one vaccine may cause people to distrust all vaccines and warns that would be dangerous.

Young people & getting vaccinated

News4Jax visited the campus of the University of North Florida and the Five Points neighborhood, speaking with young people between the ages of 18 and 23.

Here’s some of the responses we got when asking about getting vaccinated:

“I’m open to it but at the same time, I don’t know what is going on with it. And it hasn’t been tested that long. So I don’t know.”

Sarah Pearson, UNF student

“I’m trying to protect myself and do I know what the virus is bringing me? No. Do I know what the vaccine is bringing me? No. I question the whole thing.”

Joseph Smith, 23

“I would say the vaccine is a plus, but I got a skeptic in me that wants to hold back and wait because it came around so fast.”

Wyat Connell, 22

“Make sure that it’s right for you. If you’re the kind of person who is really skeptical and anxious about it, then don’t do it.”

Kaleb Strength, 21

“It’s definitely made me concerned about getting the second dose.”

Logan Satter, 22, who received one dose of Pfizer vaccine

“I’m glad that I’m still waiting until there is more research out there. And I know people with my condition have also been hesitant about it.”

Yulzaveta Aleksyeyeza, UNF student who is immunocompromised

“I worry for my own health like after the getting the vaccine. What could happen?”

Ashley Olgyn, 21

“I ... already have pre-existing health issues and hearing people are having issues with the vaccine makes me scared.”

Piper Newell, 18

The Johnson & Johnson blood clots were reported in 6 of the 6.8 million vaccines administered. That’s far less than one percent of the total doses given out.

“The most important thing is to get the vaccine. So this is just a little bit of a speed bump for us but it’s still very important to get the vaccine,” Duane said.

As the age to get vaccinated has lowered and people are beginning to go back to normal daily life, this pharmacist hopes getting vaccinated remains a new normal.

Duane added though the only reported cases happened to women it’s possible it could happen to men, too.

A similar blood clot scenario happened with Astra Zeneca when its coronavirus vaccine was launched in Europe. Astra Zeneca and Johnson and Johnson have similar vaccine technology.

If you have questions about getting vaccinated talk to your pharmacist or doctor.

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