The Truth is Powerful

The J&J vaccine is back. Next comes trust.

Ms Tech | Getty Last week US regulators recommended resuming use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, after deciding that a side effect involving blood clots was too rare to justify continuing the brief suspension they had imposed: there were just 15 reported instances out of 8 million doses. But even though the pause lasted just 11 days, it raised new concerns about whether Americans will trust vaccinations. Recent polling shows that confidence in the Johnson & Johnson shot in particular is very low, with 73% of unvaccinated people saying they wouldn’t accept a dose if offered.

That could pose new challenges for health-care providers, public health departments, and other government officials working to get everyone vaccinated.

Ben Weston, director of medical services at the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management in Wisconsin, says that some confidence has been lost, and restoring it is going to take time and effort.

“We’re all still trying to figure out the best way to message that it actually is a very safe vaccine,” Weston says. “Nationally—and internationally, for that matter—we have a lot of work to do to continue to instill confidence in all the vaccines.”

However, not everyone thinks the hiatus necessarily set those efforts […]

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