The J&J vaccine isn’t causing nausea and fainting, anxiety is

A new report  from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered that anxiety is to blame for a series of adverse effects from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, rather than the shot itself. 

From April 7 to 9, the CDC obtained reports of “clusters of anxiety-related events” after patients received the J&J vaccine, along with hyperventilation, low blood pressure, headaches, difficulty breathing, lightheadedness, nausea, and fainting, amongst others, at five mass vaccination sites.

At four of those sites, administrators temporarily suspended supplying coronavirus vaccines because of the high relative frequency of patients fainting — 8. 2 people per 100,000, according to the CDC. For comparison, 0.05 people per 100,000 faint after receiving an influenza vaccine. 

After conducting interviews with the 64 patients, out of 8624, who displayed those symptoms, the CDC concluded that none of the cases met their definition of serious side effects, and the majority were resolved within 15 mins. The researchers attributed the signs and symptoms to anxiety as opposed to any discrepancies among the J&J vaccine and its Pfizer and Modern counterparts. 

In fact, the principle distinction among Johnson & Johnson additionally referred to as the Janssen vaccine and the other vaccines is that it only requires one dose, which the CDC hypothesized could be the source of multiplied anxiety around it.

“Because the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is administered as a single dose, this vaccine is probably an extra appealing choice for persons who’ve needle aversion,” the report said.

“Therefore, it’s far feasible that a few persons looking for Janssen COVID-19 vaccination could be more highly predisposed to anxiety-related events after being vaccinated.

Fainting events were mostly highly concentrated among the youngest eligible group — those aged 18 to 29. The report found that to be expected, considering adolescents have the highest rates of dizziness and fainting after other vaccines.

The CDC recommended vaccine administrators observe patients for at least 15 minutes after injection, in order to monitor them for anxiety-related effects.

The adverse effects described in the study are unrelated to the 17 cases of patients developing blood clots, which led to a nationwide pause of the J&J vaccine’s usage in mid-April. The CDC found those instances to be extremely rare, and, along with the FDA, lifted the pause after 10 days. The vaccine now carries a warning for women under 50 regarding the risk of developing a blood clot.