The 11-day pause on Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine last month caused 9% of unvaccinated adults to say they’re less likely to want that vaccine, and 7% to say they’re less likely to want any Covid-19 vaccine, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll taken during and after the pause.
Among people who had not yet been vaccinated, 56% said the news didn’t have an impact on their decision about getting vaccinated and 21% said they hadn’t heard or read about the pause. But about 1 in 5 unvaccinated adults changed their mind about getting a Covid-19 vaccine due to the pause, according to the survey.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration recommended pausing use of the J&J vaccine on April 13 due to six reported US cases of a “rare and severe” type of blood clot. The pause was lifted on April 23 and a warning about the rare events was added.
The KFF poll, released Thursday, was conducted April 15 to April 29 and consisted of a nationally representative sample of 2,097 US adults. It began after the pause was put in place and continued until after it was lifted.
But confidence in the safety of the vaccine is low among key unvaccinated groups, the poll said. Fewer Americans, 46%, are at least somewhat confident the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe; for Pfizer and Moderna, 69% said the same.
Among people who say they are waiting to get a Covid-19 vaccine, 55% said the Pfizer vaccine is safe, 53% said Moderna is safe and only 28% said the J&J vaccine is safe.
KFF found 39% of unvaccinated Hispanic women said they heard about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and changed their mind about the vaccine — 15% said it made them less likely to want J&J’s vaccine and 18% saying they were less likely to want any Covid-19 vaccine.
A majority of respondents, 78%, said that they had heard or read at least a little about the pause. Unvaccinated women, 83%, were more likely to have heard or read about the pause than unvaccinated men, 73%. Unvaccinated women were also less confident in the safety of the vaccine. KFF notes that there was no gender difference in overall vaccine confidence.
Concerns about Covid-19 vaccine side effects overall increased, particularly among women. In all adults who weren’t planning to get vaccinated right away, 81% were concerned they might experience serious side effects, compared with 70% last month. For women, 92% were concerned about serious side effects compared with 77% in March.
Despite this, KFF says “the trajectory of vaccine uptake and enthusiasm does not appear to have slowed significantly among women over the past month.”
Sixty-six percent of women have been vaccinated or will be as soon as possible, compared to 61% in March. For men, 63% have been or will be as soon as possible compared to 62% in March.
And J&J being a single-dose vaccine still appeals to people. Three in 10 unvaccinated adults said they would be more likely to get a vaccine if they needed only one dose.