How the Johnson & Johnson pause could move the needle on vaccine fears

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Today’s announcement that federal officials have recommended pausing use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine might hurt efforts to encourage people to get vaccinated. But — critically — that doesn’t mean the federal officials shouldn’t have made the recommendation, says Melanie Kornides, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing who studies why some people are hesitant to take vaccines.

“Some people are missing the message — they’re so worried about hesitancy, that they’re not seeing how important it is to address the safety, in order to make people feel less hesitant,” she says.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended the pause while…

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