'Hopeful that JNJ coronavirus vaccine pause is lifted by FDA': Doctor

Dr. Shikha Jain, Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Illinois Chicago, joined Yahoo Finance to discuss the latest on Covid-19.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: A federal advisory panel meeting to review the pause on J&J's vaccine. We're expecting a recommendation sometime later today. So to discuss that, we want to bring in our next guest. We have Dr. Shikha Jain. She is assistant professor of medicine at University of Illinois, Chicago. And Dr. Jain, it's great to have you here on Yahoo Finance. When you take a look at this case here, do you expect the pause on J&J's vaccine to be lifted?

SHIKHA JAIN: So I'm hopeful that it will be. And we've had some indication that there may be a lifting of the pause with potentially a new warning label or maybe even a population of people that they recommend get the vaccine and a population that don't. So I'm hopeful that we'll get some more information later today, as we get some information out of the panel that convened. But yes, I'm hopeful that the pause does get lifted, based on whatever they discuss at that panel today.

ADAM SHAPIRO: What worries do you have about whether they're founded or not, the fears people have now because of this pause with the J&J vaccine? We're seeing it negatively impact the number of people getting vaccines who need to get vaccines.

SHIKHA JAIN: Yeah, my biggest fear is that people are going to be hesitant to get the vaccine. And I want to remind everybody, we know that COVID itself, so if you get the COVID virus, we know that puts you at a higher risk of developing a severe complication and developing blood clots. So we know that patients with the COVID virus develop blood clots. We also know that there have been some cases of these very rare blood clots after getting the J&J vaccine.

We don't yet know for sure if there's a connection between the vaccine and these very rare clots and the numbers of the people who have gotten these rare clots are so, so low, less than one in a million, as compared to the number of people who have gotten clots from getting the infection. So, I'm worried that people are hesitant to get the vaccine. But they're forgetting that contracting the infection itself puts you at very high risk for getting very sick and potentially even puts you at risk for ending up in the hospital and dying or developing another blood clot. So, again, the risk of getting very sick from the virus is much more risky than any complication from the vaccine.

SEANA SMITH: Doctor, the vaccination rate now in the US is below three million. Do you think we're going to get back to that 3 million number? Or has the vaccination rate in the US peaked?

SHIKHA JAIN: I don't think it's peaked yet. I think especially when hopefully we open it up to children and younger people, we'll see more. And especially with summer coming and then colleges opening and schools going back in session, I'm hopeful that we'll see those numbers continue to rise, as a completely different segment of our population starts getting vaccinated.

ADAM SHAPIRO: When we talk about the vaccine programs, here in New York City, any aged 16 or older, you can now just walk in. Are we going to see more of that across the country? And is that a good thing? Or does that reinforce these people who've decided, I'm too afraid, I'm not getting one?

SHIKHA JAIN: So I think it's a good thing because we want to make these vaccines as accessible as possible. And the initial issue with the vaccine rollout was demand was much higher than supply. We're going to get to a point where the supply is higher than the demand. So my hope is that with these open walk-in clinics that anybody can come in and get a vaccine, that we'll see more and more people getting scheduled, coming in, getting their shots. And my hope is that the public health messaging that we're putting out is continuing to encourage people and address these concerns and really educate people so that the misinformation or the scary information that they're reading, we're able to assess and address their fears and get as many people vaccinated as possible as quickly as possible.

SEANA SMITH: Dr. Shikha Jain, assistant professor of medicine at University of Illinois, Chicago, thanks so much for taking the time to hop on with us here today.