Courtesy of New York Guard via Flickr under CC-BY SA 2.0

COVID-19 vaccine administration tactics have reached millions of people in the United States alone. The vaccines have been consistently criticized by many, prompting many Americans to not feel comfortable taking them. As a result, the Biden administration needs to be completely transparent with the American people regarding vaccine safety. With the spread of so much misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, it is critical that government organizations and community leaders help stop the spread of false information. The recent news about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has the potential to severely lower vaccine trust in the public. Because of this, the Biden administration, alongside the Food and Drug Administration, must work extra hard to ensure that they make it clear to the American public that what happened with J&J is being taken care of. 

The Biden administration has done fairly well when it comes to vaccine transparency and distribution plans. In March, President Biden announced that all Americans would be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine by May 1 while promising to have most of the country back to a sense of normalcy by the Fourth of July weekend. During his first 75 days in office, over 150 million doses of the vaccine were administered to Americans across the country. President Biden has been actively encouraging all Americans to continue wearing masks and practicing all other forms of safety measures. This is a clear shift in tone from the Trump administration, which, to a certain point in time, denied the severity of COVID-19. From this, the White House has argued that the pause in the J&J vaccine distribution shows how cautious the Biden administration is and that they are taking every necessary precaution to ensure public safety.

One of the biggest challenges during this pandemic has been the amount of false information regarding COVID-19. As millions of people get infected and hundreds of thousands fall into hospitalized states, Americans should feel a sense of urgency to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. However, many simply don’t trust it enough to take it. The Biden administration needs to take a more robust stance against anti-vaccine discussion online. It’s critical that our current administration is doing everything in its power to educate the public about COVID-19 and the benefits of receiving a vaccine. Allowing misinformation regarding vaccines will only hinder the Biden administration’s pro-vaccine initiative.   

As the J&J vaccine re-enters distribution in the coming days, it’s important that it’s administered with full confidence. The J&J vaccine has been incredibly effective in getting senior citizens and other at-risk communities vaccinated faster. This has also been great in getting groups such as people who live in rural areas and those who work long shifts vaccinated. These groups are the ones who the Biden administration is going to have to work to regain their trust in the vaccine. President Biden has reassured the public that there are enough Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to continue successfully vaccinating Americans at a rapid pace. In fact, the J&J vaccine only makes up about 5% of the recorded vaccine shots in the United States. Out of this 5%, there have only been six recorded cases of blood clots. While the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention come to a conclusion about the future of the J&J vaccine, it’s important that they have enough evidence in order to provide reassurance to the public.

It’s imperative that the Biden administration directly addresses the concerns many Americans have about taking a vaccine. That small percentage of people who have taken and will take the J&J vaccine is made up of millions of Americans. For many of them, the J&J vaccine is their only option when choosing to get vaccinated. Ensuring that Americans in these positions feel comfortable and safe receiving this vaccine should be a number one priority for the current administration.