Monday was a big day for Ohio University. Gov. Mike DeWine visited OU for a press conference to promote vaccination efforts. During the press conference, he promoted the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which three students received during the event.
He spoke on the safety of the vaccine and discussed how vaccinations are the best way to get back to normal.
“This is the ticket out of the pandemic, and this is their ticket to freedom,” DeWine said.
Due to recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DeWine ordered a statewide pause of the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
According to the CDC, the Johnson & Johnson vaccination has caused blood clots for six people. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been administered to 6.8 million Americans. Given these statistics, the odds of the J&J vaccine causing the issue of blood clots is about one in a million.
The J&J vaccine is what has been administered to most college students and has been pushed to younger people because it’s the “one and done” vaccine. While the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines take two doses, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only takes one.
This is seems like it should be somewhat of a concern for those who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, given that they are no longer administering it, but when you consider the odds, most people aren’t very worried.
“It’s concerning, but I think there’s not that many people getting the blood clot, so I’m not going to worry about it just yet. I’m hoping the side effects are the only problem I have with the vaccine,” Gabrielle Walsh, a freshman studying sociology who was vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, said.
Considering that the FDA has approved several drugs and medications where blood clots are much more common — like birth control, where the odds of a blood clot are one in 1,000 — it’s no wonder that people are not super concerned.
Prestin Minter, one of the students who was vaccinated at DeWine’s press conference, was very shocked to learn the day after DeWine spoke so highly of the vaccine that he decided to pull it.
“Just the fact that it’s six out of 6 million and that is the number that has been repeated, I think is absolutely insane,” Minter, a senior studying strategic communication, said. “I think the narrative that DeWine gave yesterday is that he wanted to get as many college students vaccinated as possible, and that was kind of the whole point of getting vaccinated.”
Pulling this vaccine, one that has been pushed for college students to get, is making a lot of OU students feel more bleak for the future that just days ago felt a bit more hopeful.
“I understand that there is concern, and I think that we should acknowledge that concern. It should be talked about, but I think it’s really ridiculous and hypocritical for less than 24 hours after (Gov. DeWine) discussed how safe this vaccine is and how even though people have reservations about it, he wants more and more college students to be vaccinated. Now, (the vaccine) is being pulled, and it feels like we’re back to square one,” Minter said.
One of the other students who was vaccinated at the conference, Simar Kalkat, said she still has faith in the vaccine.
“When Governor DeWine asked me if I had any hesitations regarding the vaccine, I told him I had faith in it and what it can do for the near future,” Kalkat, a sophomore studying finance, business analytics and economics, said. “I am confident that this news isn’t as thought-altering as it may seem like. The vaccine is a medical miracle, and I’m privileged to have been given the opportunity to get the jab.”
Considering the odds of dying from COVID-19 versus the odds of a complication with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the vaccine is much safer than not being vaccinated.
“Personally, I am not concerned about it. Only six people had those blood clots. That's roughly 0.00008% of the people who took the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. With only one death, that makes the mortality rate 0.00001%. Knowing that the mortality rate of covid is roughly 1.8%, I feel safer knowing that I have the vaccine,” Joey Dixon, a freshman studying business who was vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, said.
This vaccine is not dangerous enough to have been pulled. The odds are in favor of this vaccine. Pulling it will only set America back and will make the timeline of returning to normal even longer.
Mikayla Rochelle is a senior studying strategic communication at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Tell Mikayla by tweeting her at @mikayla_roch.