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Health experts encourage Coloradans to continue getting vaccinated as J&J faces scrutiny

Posted at 9:46 PM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-14 00:46:39-04

DENVER — Colorado has paused its distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but health experts are encouraging residents to continue their COVID-19 vaccinations.

"It's appropriate, if there are new developments or new data or new information, that there's nothing wrong with taking a pause," said Dr. James Neid, the director of infection prevention at the Medical Center of Aurora. "This is an encouraging move, hopefully, with some rapid turnaround on information."

RELATED: Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine has been paused in Colorado. Here’s what you need to know.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been halted across the country after six women developed blood clots in correlation to their vaccination. Health experts say the number of people developing symptoms is minuscule compared to the number of people vaccinated.

"There's been about 200 million doses of COVID vaccine administered in this country, and it has virtually been the safest vaccine roll out you could have ever imagined," Neid said. "It seems to be at least 100 to 1000 times less likely than other common clotting disorders that people suffer every day."

But any side effects are important to study and reduce, Neid said. The pause in vaccines shows the system of intense oversight is working.

"I think the takeaway message is that vaccination is very important. It's very efficacious, and it's very safe," Neid said. "This development doesn't change that message at all."