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Experts more concerned with overall vaccine hesitancy than J&J fears

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) - County health departments across Iowa are resuming their use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine this week. The shot was allowed to resume by the CDC and FDA on Friday, after an 11-day pause to investigate blood clots.

During the Friday meeting, officials said there are now 15 cases of blood clots in women who received the vaccine a few days prior. Many of the women had to be hospitalized. On Monday, officials in San Francisco confirmed the first case of these rare blood clots in a man.

However, with over 8 million doses of the shot administered across the U.S., your chances of suffering from this are virtually one-in-a-million.

"If anyone has concerns, talk to your doctor. But this is a very safe shot for most people," Heather Meador said, clinical branch supervisor for Linn County Public Health.

Many experts are aware the 11-day pause may affect people's desire to get the shot. But Meador says there are still people calling her office asking specifically for it.

"The J&J product may be a better product for them because of work schedules or lifestyles," Meador said.

Meador says if you don't want the J&J shot, that's fine. But please get one of the other two. With supply now outpacing demand, people can get any of the three they desire.

"If you were waiting, if you thought, 'I want to let someone that maybe is more vulnerable than I am get vaccinated first.' You don't have to worry about that anymore," Meador said.

State officials confirmed Monday that 80 of Iowa's 99 counties declined some or all of their vaccine allocations for the first week of May.

Meador says 55% of Linn County residents have started their vaccine sequences and 44% are fully vaccinated. In order to reach the others, they're shifting their focus to targeted vaccine clinics for people who've had barriers to sign-ups in the past.

Total in Iowa, just over 31% of the state population is fully-vaccinated.

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Travis Breese

Reporter, Iowa City

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