With just 55% of the U.S. population at least partially vaccinated and 48% fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus as of July 13, we have a ways to go before achieving adequate protection as a nation. Too many people are already skittish about receiving the vaccine. So it’s alarming any time there’s news of bad reactions among people who’ve gotten a shot. Such is the case today, as the Food and Drug Administration is expected to add new warnings that receiving the Johnson & Johnson version of the vaccine could increase risk for Guillain-Barré syndrome. (More than 100 cases have been reported in people who receive the J&J shot.) While these facts are indeed cause for vigilance, it is important for urgent care providers to help concerned patients keep things in perspective. At this time, more than 12 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered. Further, the reports of Guillain-Barré are specific to this one vaccine, not all the COVID-19 vaccines. Finally, the growing percentage of cases attributed to the more transmissible Delta variant points to the need to quicken, not impede, the rate of vaccination. Ensuring patients have a good view of the big picture will not only assist them in making informed decisions, but also deepen their appreciation for your expertise.
When an FDA Warning Comes Down—Especially Related to COVID-19—Perspective Matters