BIDEN SAYS PAUSE ON J&J SHOTS SHOWS GOV’T PUTTING SAFETY FIRST
President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign hit a snag Tuesday when federal regulators recommended a “pause” in administering Johnson & Johnson (J&J) shots. But the White House portrayed the action as an important validation of his measured approach throughout the rollout, Zeke Miller reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Biden declared that even with a temporary loss of J&J ’s one-shot vaccine, there is a huge supply of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, enough that “is basically 100% unquestionable, for every single solitary American.”
Perhaps more concerning than any worry about supply, however, is the potential blow to public confidence in all of the vaccines, as polls suggest potentially tens of millions of Americans are hesitant to get the shots that public health experts say are necessary for the nation to emerge from the pandemic.
The pause actually should have the opposite effect, boosting confidence that the government is putting safety first, Biden and top health officials said at a White House briefing.
The advisory by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — citing a need to investigate reports of rare but potentially dangerous blood clots — was “testimony to how seriously we take safety,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert.
In the opening months of his presidency, Biden has put top priority on a robust response to the virus that has killed 559,000 Americans, with a vaccine campaign in which nearly 50% of adults have received at least one shot.