FDA: Benefits far outweighs risks with J&J vaccine

Written by on July 16, 2021

 FDA: Benefits far outweighs risks with Johnson & Johnson vaccine

By Brittany Sweeney
July 16, 2021

(AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The FDA is warning of more serious side effects from the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

Listen to the story.

Some say after getting the shot, they developed a rare condition that affects the nerves.

A small group of people who received the one-dose J&J vaccine have developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome, an immune system disorder.

Dr. Timothy Friel, an Infectious Disease specialist at Lehigh Valley Health Network,  says the condition causes weakness or tingling in the body, typically from the feet up. But he hasn’t had any local patients report such side effects.

“To date, we have not seen anyone who has developed vaccine-associated Guillain-Barre, as noted, only 100 cases have been reported to the FDA across the country, to this date and remember, just because those cases were reported, does not necessarily mean that the vaccine has caused it,” Friel says.

And there is another way to go.

“For those who have increasing concerns about Johnson & Johnson there are great alternatives with both Pfizer and Moderna, for members of our community and those who want to get vaccinated and still have not,” Friel says. 

The reported cases are among nearly 13 million Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients, and in the past, he says, Guillain-Barre has been associated with the swine flu vaccine.

Dr. Friel adds that just because the cases were reported, does not necessarily mean that the vaccine has caused the syndrome.

The FDA says the benefits far outweigh the risks.

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