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Johnson and Johnson Vaccine Has Less Risk Than Birth Control

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

Johnson and Johnson Vaccine Has Less Risk Than Birth Control The Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccination campaign was paused after more than five women reported severe blood clots after receiving the vaccine. In a statement by Johnson and Johnson, they stated, “The safety and well-being of the people who use our products is our number one priority. We are aware of an extremely rare disorder involving people with blood clots in combination with low platelets in a small number of individuals who have received our COVID-19 vaccine.” According to the CDC, there have already been “more than 6.8 million doses” distributed as of April 12 in the U.S. So far, there have only been six reported cases of blood clots in J&J vaccine recipients. Meaning the risk of actually developing a severe blood clot from the vaccine to less than 1%.

Vice, “The risk of blood clots from birth control pills is 1 in 1,000 and is considered a low-risk side effect,” tweeted Rebecca Wind, a reproductive health advocate. “The risk from the J&J vaccine is 1 in 1,000,000.” To many, the precautions taken by the FDA and CDC to halt the J&J vaccination campaign is stark in comparison to their laissez-faire attitude regarding the risk of blood clots with hormonal birth control (a 2015 study stated approximately 64% of women in the US take or use hormonal birth control) was a harsh reminder of how women's health issues are widely disregarded. Blood clots have been a potential side-effect of hormonal birth control since the pills hit the market in the 1960’s. According to US News, “birth control pills increase the risk for blood clots that can occur in the leg and potentially break off and travel to the lung, causing a pulmonary embolism. In 2012, the FDA posted data showing that if 10,000 women using birth control pills were followed for one year, 3 to 9 would develop a blood clot.” However, Dr. Jen Villavicencio from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said in an article written by US News, “the blood clots tied to birth control and those that occurred after a J&J shot cannot be compared, as they are different types of clots.” Clots associated with hormonal birth control can usually be treated with anticoagulants, while the severe clots associated with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which are known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis or CVST, require weeks to recover and are far more dangerous. In the meantime, those who have already taken the J&J vaccine have been told not to be fearful as their chances of developing a clot are less than one in a million. However, those who have been vaccinated with J&J should monitor their symptoms. Those experiencing severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath in the two weeks following their vaccination should seek help from a doctor regarding their symptoms.

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