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Clearing Up Confusion About Safety And Efficacy Of The Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - The White House announced Monday that 120 million Americans have been vaccinated against COVID, including 72 million who've been fully vaccinated.

But there have been reports of vaccinated people getting COVID and concerns over the supply and effectiveness of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez clears up some of the confusion.

Over the weekend, the U.S. set a new vaccination record, with 4.6 million shots given in one day, and despite a supply disruption in the J&J vaccine, the White House COVID Group says enough vaccine to vaccinate more than three million people a day is still being distributed.

But amidst this good news, there are also a few rare reports of dizziness or fainting with the J&J vaccine, something that can happen from anxiety with any immunization. But there are some more serious side effect that may be associated with the J&J vaccine.


Georgia, Colorado and North Carolina paused giving the J&J vaccine while public health officials investigate whether that vaccine is the cause of some serious blood clots. That's out of an abundance of caution as nearly all experts have said that the J&J vaccine is safe and effective and any such side effects are either extremely rare or not caused by the vaccine itself.

A different concern is scattered reports of fully vaccinated people coming down with COVID. These so-called breakthrough cases of disease can happen with any vaccine, since no vaccine is 100% protective. Out of tens of millions of vaccinated, there are a few hundred such breakthroughs.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday it can happen if the vaccine itself is ineffective or been stored improperly, if a person's immune response is not good or has faded, or if there's a new strain circulating.

The important fact?

"There were essentially no deaths or hospitalizations in the individuals who are vaccinated," Fauci said.

In addition, the head of the CDC pointed out that the COVID shots do not stimulate a full immune response for two to six weeks after full vaccination, and infection is possible during that time.

All the more reason to wear a mask even after your shots.

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