Some people remain concerned over J&J vaccine despite low blood clot risk
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Some New Mexicans are feeling a little apprehensive to receive the COVID-19 vaccine after the State Health Department pressed pause on administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
This comes in response to a federal recommendation stemming from reports of potentially dangerous blood clots.
"To be honest, I don’t really believe in the vaccine right now,” said Gabrielle Apodaca, a New Mexico resident.
"At least a couple more years of studying. I mean, obviously there’s some issues already,” she added.
There have been six identified cases of blood clots in women who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine out of the nearly 7 million people who have also received a dose.
"There is nothing, from my perspective, that would cause panic,” said Rebecca Goodman, with Lovelace Hospital.
Goodman has helped organize the vaccine distribution for Lovelace.
"I’m certainly a huge proponent for vaccines. Even outside of COVID vaccines, my background is in pediatric nursing, so I’m a very big proponent for vaccines in-general— especially when we’re talking about those vulnerable populations that can’t be vaccinated for some reason,” she said.
Dr. Mark Epstein, CEO of True Health New Mexico, said there are risks associated with getting vaccinated and not get vaccinated.
"The risks of COVID are very real, and in the balance of the consideration whether to do a vaccine or not, you always have to consider the risks of contracting COVID and all the complications we’re seeing and obviously the death that we’re seeing as well,” Dr. Epstein said.
Some New Mexico residents like Jacob Salazar have already made up their mind.
"The benefits outweigh the risks,” he said.
For him, getting vaccinated comes with a side of relief.
"A lot of my family members have been able to get vaccinated, so that’s a relief for me, too, especially for the older individuals in my family,” he said.
However, others are still approaching the vaccine with caution.
"99.99% are OK, but I think we should err on the side of caution,” said Karen Higgins.