Dr. Ashish Jha breaks down the impact of the J&J vaccine pause

Jha on what the pause means for others after six people in the U.S. developed a rare blood clot disorder.
7:37 | 04/14/21

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Transcript for Dr. Ashish Jha breaks down the impact of the J&J vaccine pause
First of all, let me clear something up. Apparently tucker Carlson did not say to people don't take the vaccine. He was telling people to question whether it works. We like to keep ourselves straight here. Because there are so many questions coming out about these rising covid cases and whether or not you should take the thing, we just have to talk to a man who can give us some real smart answers on all of this. We called our friend Dr. Jha for answers. We want to welcome him back. We always know he'll give it to us straight. Welcome back, doc. There's so much to talk about. Six cases of a rare blood clot in women seems a small number. Do you think this was the right call for them to pause the j&j vaccine so we could find out all the information that we needed to give people, particularly doctors, about how and what they should do should this show up? Was this a good call? Yeah, whoopi, I think it was. The fda is just being really cautious. 1 in a million, your chances of getting hit by lightning is twice as much. We're talking about something very, very rare. The fda wanted to take a pause, collect more data and make recommendations to doctors about how to manage this. To me it builds confidence in the system that the system is working. It's making sure we're not missing anything important and taking care of people. Nearly 7 million people have received Johnson & Johnson shots so far. How concerned should they be and what if you already have an appointment for a Johnson & Johnson vaccine scheduled? So, all these complications, again in six people, very rare, happened in the first month. If you're past a month out from your shot, I think you're good to go. If you've got the vaccine in the last few weeks, again, your risk of anything bad happening is tiny. Pay attention. If you develop severe headaches, severe abdominal pain, go to the doctor. Tell them you got vaccinated. They can check out whether you're having one of these incredibly rare complications. If you have an appointment right now, I wouldn't do anything for the next couple days. We'll get more guidance out of the fda and CDC. Let's see where we go. My sense is they'll lift the pause in a few days. These are incredibly safe vaccines. We just want to be cautious. Dr. Jha, despite vaccination efforts covid cases are rising. Officials are saying Michigan could see its worst covid-19 surge yet. With variants running rampant, do you worry this could be a warning sign for other parts of the country? Where do the vaccines stand against variants right now? Yeah, it's a really good question. The good news, really good news, is that our vaccines work really wel against the variants, the other strains of the virus. The one spreading in Michigan, Minnesota and elsewhere is way more contagious. That's major reason why it's spreading so quickly in those places. I think we have a few more weeks before this is really brought under control. It will be brought under control with good behavior and vaccinations. It is a race between vaccines and variants. The vaccines will win. We have to be careful for a few more weeks. Dr. Jha, there are a lot of people out there, especially Republicans who are reluctant to get vaccinated. I know a lot in my life. You said the CDC's public health messaging has been part of a larger pattern of poor messaging from the government. Do you think the pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine risks fueling more vaccine hesitancy and does more harm than good? On a personal level, I don't know how to get friends of mine who are scared and angry at the way they're being talked to because they're Republicans and they have vaccine hesitancy, I don't know what to say to them anymore. They really don't want to get it. It's become political and it's dangerous for all of us. Meghan, I totally degree this should not be political. This vaccine was developed under president trump's administration. They're not political vaccinesvaccines. They're scientific vaccines. People should get vaccinated because it protects them, their families, their communities. It's good for us. One other part of the messaging, people's behavior should change after they got vaccinated. I got vaccinated. It's made me so much more comfortable going out and doing things. It's unfortunate. On the fda decision, I know they struggled with this, about whether to put the pause on or not. Ultimately they decided to come down on the safety, to come down on the side of transparency, to be more aggression in making sure the vaccines really are as safe as we think. I hope that doesn't turn people off, and makes them feel more comfortable we have a process that works. My husband and I have been double vaccinated with pfizer. Four of our friends have been double vaccinated. We've been getting together with our six people for dinner quite a bit. It's not 100% restrictive. This whole business of having extra caution when you go to superspreader events and you put a mask on, that's logical to me. This question I have for you is confusing. It's been a month since Texas governor Greg Abbott fully lifted the state mask mandate. The state hasn't seen a rise in cases. In fact, the number of cases have declined. How do you explain that? The b.1.1.7 variant is lower in Texas. That's what's fueling things in Michigan. I think a lot of what is happening is weather related. If you look at where the virus is spreading, it's in the northern half of the country. It's still cold, a lot more indoor activity. Right now the strategy has to be keep vaccinating, be careful. When I talk about being careful, we're not talking about months and wearing masks forever. We're talking about while the virus is spreading at high levels over the next few weeks, everybody remaining a bit more I think by the time we get to the summer -- it's going to be a great summer. It's going to be getting back to normal, especially if we get more Americans vaccinated. There we go. Our thanks to Dr. Jha. It's always a pleasure to have. Maybe it's getting better because people in Texas are wearing their masks, they're taking it upon themselves. People might be doing the right who knew?

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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