HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Local health officials say the pause in Johnson & Johnson vaccinations this week should not cause much of an increase in vaccine hesitancy and they don't anticipate it getting worse.
President and CEO of Memorial Hermann Dr. David Callender spoke with Eyewitness News on Wednesday and said the halt of the vaccinations due to rare but dangerous blood clots will likely raise some concern and questions, but there is a way to address it.
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"The way that we counter that is to go forward and talk about the very good experience that we've had thus far, particularly with the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, and the extreme rarity of this event," he said.
Education and transparency are what local experts say will keep people open to getting the vaccine.
"It could work to the favor of getting more people vaccinated as long as we use this as a way to demonstrate transparency, which I think is happening, and talk about the data," said Baylor College of Medicine Section Chief of Infectious Diseases, Thomas Giordano.
On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held a public advisory committee meeting to discuss detailed data and research on the six blood clot cases connected to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
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The committee called the cases very rare but clinically serious.
Prairie View A&M's Dr. Harriette Block said even within communities of color, where vaccine hesitancy was already an issue, the situation could offer some clarity and confidence in vaccination.
"I would say more trustworthy, because for them to recognize it so quickly and immediately put a halt so that persons of any color for that matter are not getting the vaccine until they actually look at the reasoning behind the blood clots," said Block.
The CDC advisory committee is expected to make a final vote on whether or not they will recommend continued use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
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