Yale doctor says pros outweigh vaccine risks as US officials add new warning to J&J shot
The FDA this week attached a new warning to Johnson and Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine, saying it may slightly increase your risk of a rare neurological condition.
Yale neuroimmunologists Guillain-Barre syndrome can cause numbness, tingling, and in rare cases, long-term weakness.
"The immune system mistakenly – instead of attacking the bug that is the foreign subject – it attacks the peripheral nerve," says Dr. Sharon Stoll.
About seven or eight cases have been reported per million who took the Johnson & Johnson shot.
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Dr. Sharon Stoll says that's slightly higher than the national average.
"It does seem like there is a little bit of a correlation, but it is something that we look for with vaccines in particular, because we know it's a risk," she says.
Slightly increased GBS risk has long been associated with vaccines, but Dr. Stoll says you're much more likely to get it drinking from a fresh stream.
"It's associated with a GI symptom or GI illness that some people can get while camping, actually,” says the doctor.
Pfizer reported Monday it expects patients to need a third booster of its vaccine. Dr. Stoll says more questions need to be answered before a decision is made. She says people shouldn't let any of the latest vaccine news keep them from getting any of the three U.S.-approved vaccines.
"The pros for getting vaccinated significantly, significantly outweigh the risks of the vaccine itself," she says.
State officials say just over 61% of Connecticut residents are fully vaccinated – 49% are fully vaccinated nationwide.