- The Washington Times - Friday, April 16, 2021

Americans’ safety perceptions of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine have largely dipped after the temporary pause by U.S. health officials, said a new poll published on Thursday.

Following the pause, just 37% of U.S. adults say the vaccine is safe, down 52% before the shots were shelved, according to the Economist/YouGov poll. Thirty-nine percent of Americans say the vaccine is unsafe compared to 26% before the pause.

Health officials put the COVID-19 vaccines on hold while they investigate six cases of blood clots in women who had received the jab, including the death of one woman. The clots, while serious, appear rare. Nearly 7 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine were administered before the pause.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a federal panel of independent experts that helps craft vaccine policy, on Wednesday said it wants to collect more data on the blood clots possibly linked to the vaccine. It decided to hold off voting on recommending the one-shot vaccine. The panel will meet again on April 23.

Similarly, the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has also faced setbacks due to blood clot concerns. The two-shot vaccine has been temporarily suspended in many countries and completely banned in Denmark. That vaccine has not been approved for use in the U.S. yet. 

According to the YouGov poll, only 38% of Americans perceive the AstraZeneca vaccine as safe while another 27% think it is unsafe.

On the other hand, a much higher percentage of Americans are convinced that the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are safe. The survey shows that 58% to 59% of Americans consider the two vaccines to be safe and only 18% to 19% perceiving them as unsafe. They each require two shots.

The Economist poll, conducted by YouGov, has a nationally representative sample of 1,500 U.S. adults who were interviewed online between April 10 and April 13. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.8 percentage points for the overall sample, according to the poll.

• Tom Howell Jr. contributed to this article.

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