Des Moines Woman Who Received J&J Vaccine Says Rewards Outweigh Improbable Risks

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DES MOINES, Iowa — The blood clots six Americans developed after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, one which was deadly, are nothing to brush off.

“Around day six onward you would want to be wary of severe headaches, severe abdominal pain, and loss of vision,” said Iowa Infectious disease physician Dr. Megan Srinivas.

Srinivas also believes the success rate of nearly seven million others who received that same J&J vaccine should be taken seriously as well. “If we are tracking every single person this carefully and willing to act so quickly, even if we don’t know for sure it is directly related to the vaccine, that shows just how important each person’s safety is as we pursue the vaccine roll-outs,” Srinivas said.

Rachel Bruns lives in Des Moines and received the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine a month ago. “It was really nice to have to do the one shot,” said Bruns.

All six recipients who experienced the blood clots were women ages 18-48. “At first I definitely was intrigued since I’ve gotten the shot but also relieved it’s been really rare,” Bruns said.

Rachel had symptoms within the first few days of her vaccination. She said, “Initially right after I had a headache and I was tired and had chills but that was for a day at most,” said Bruns.

With those symptoms coming before the six to thirteen-day window, she’s now past what research shows to be the time frame of worry. “Anybody who got the vaccine more than three weeks ago you should not worry about this at all,” said Srinivas.

Rachel believes the reward far outweighs the risk, “In large part to protect other people that I’m interacting with. I want to make sure I don’t get my family members or older family members sick.”

In fact, Dr. Srinivas and Rachel see the pause on the J&J vaccine as a positive. “Happy to hear they are pausing to assess the situation and make sure they are doing their due diligence,” said Bruns.

According to the National Safety Council, the odds of dying in a motor vehicle crash are 1 in 107. An alarming stat when compared to the six blood clots out of nearly 7 million vaccinations.

“The death rate for Covid is somewhere between one and two percent whereas when we look at the vaccine reaction if that is what it is, it’s one out of one million of a chance for you to get this,” said Srinivas.

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