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J&J Vaccine Holds Lower Side Effect Risks Than Aspirin: NIH Director

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Dr. Francis Collins, the Director of the National Institutes of Health, said the side effects linked to Johnson & Johnson's Covid vaccine such as blood clots, are extremely rare, and lower than that of commonly used drug aspirin, the New York Times reported.
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On "Meet the Press", Collins told NBC host Chuck Todd that the vaccine side effects are about a thousand times less likely than experiencing intestinal bleeding from taking aspirin.

In mid-April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had temporarily halted the usage of Johnson & Johnson's single-shot COVID-19 vaccine after six recipients developed a rare blood clotting disorder following the administration of more than 6.8 million doses. All those affected were women aged between 18 and 48.

However, following a thorough safety review by health regulators, the FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control decided to resume vaccinations with Johnson & Johnson's vaccine.

Collins noted that the blood-clotting issues may sound scary, but the vaccine comes with a lower risk of adverse side effects than the over-the-counter medication used to reduce pain, fever, or inflammation.

He said, "The risk of aspirin inducing a significant intestinal bleed is much higher than what we're talking about here, something in the neighborhood of one in 500, one in a thousand for people who regularly take aspirin. We're talking about something here that's about a thousand times less likely to happen.... we Americans, we're not that good at this kind of risk calculation."

Collins also defended federal health regulators' decision to resume Johnson & Johnson's vaccine shot without restrictions. According to him, when one measures the risk against the benefits of preventing somebody from dying of Covid, there's no comparison.

"We clearly have a situation where the benefits greatly outweigh the risks, even for younger women," he added.

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