Massachusetts Medical Society: Massachusetts Medical Society on pausing of Johnson & Johnson vaccine administration

Massachusetts Medical Society on pausing of Johnson & Johnson vaccine administration

Pausing the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine momentarily is entirely appropriate. We support the decisions made by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate whether there is a causal relationship between the vaccine and the side effects encountered by six women. The commitment to patient safety must always come first.

Ultimately, the agencies’ adherence to transparency, safety and the scientific process in response to a potential adverse reaction which fewer than one in a million patients have suffered should be reassuring to all those who have been vaccinated and those in line.

COVID-19 remains present and dangerous and vaccination continues to be an integral component in our quest to come out of the pandemic. The dramatic decline in hospitalizations and deaths among the at-risk populations that have been vaccinated illustrate the efficacy of the vaccines.

While we recognize that the pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will cause an interruption of the goal to vaccinate as quickly as possible, we must continue to prioritize equity in distribution and trust that our federal and state leaders will make necessary adjustments in allocation of available vaccine to ensure that our most vulnerable and most disproportionately affected patients and communities remain a priority.

We urge all who have questions about vaccinations to connect with their physician.

-David A. Rosman, MD, MBA, President, Massachusetts Medical Society

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