For the second time since its release, the FDA is issuing a warning for the one-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine -- this time over concerns it could lead to an increased risk of a rare neurological condition known as Guillain-Barre syndrome.
For some, the vaccine was considered a one-shot wonder. Now though, at least one San Diego woman is wondering whether she should get any more J&J vaccine shots. In a social media post, Sarah King made a video chronicling her role in the Johnson and Johnson vaccine trial.
“I’m on my way to my unblinding," King excitedly said on the video. "Did I get the placebo or did I get the real thing? I’m getting emotional. It just feels really good to be a part of something, the solution instead of the problem."
The 28-year-old music instructor is part of a family full of medical professionals who have never met a vaccine they didn’t like.
“They believe in science, believe in medicine and believe in helping out," King said.
But now that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been linked to a second safety concern in less than six months, it's giving King a little pause.
“I’ve even thought about when it comes time for me to go for a booster shot ... to kind of ditch the trial and go ahead and get Pfizer or Moderna," King told NBC 7
In April there was a 10-day pause in administering the J&J vaccine because the FDA warned of an increased risk of blood clots in a small group of people.
Now, three months later, the FDA is issuing another warning, over a concern the vaccine could lead to an increased risk of a rare neurological disorder, Guillain-Barre syndrome.
National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis is also taking part in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine trial as well.
“I’m all in for two years,” Sotelo-Solis said confidently regardless of the latest vaccine concerns.
Despite the new warning, like many doctors, Sotelo-Solis is still urging people to get vaccinated.
"You have a smorgasbord of vaccines to choose from," Sotelo-Solis said. "So if this, you know, is cause for pause, then, you know, research another one."
Of the more than 12 million J&J vaccine shots administered in the United States, there have been around 100 reports of people developing Guillan-Barre syndrome.
“I don’t think people who have gotten it probably should be concerned, especially if they got it over a month or two ago,” explained Dr. Davey Smith, the chief of infectious diseases at UC San Diego. "It usually happens a few weeks after getting the shot. It is super rare."
Johnson & Johnson issued a statement about the Guillan-Barre syndrome cases that reads, in part: “Most occurred within 42 days after vaccination. While the chance of having this occur is very low, Johnson & Johnson has updated its COVID-19 Vaccine Factsheet to include important information about these rare cases and on the signs and symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome.”
King said her experiences with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine won't stop her from taking part in future clinical trials.
"First of all, like, you get paid money for being in a lab for, like, two hours, tops," King said. "And, second, like, you feel like you're part of something even greater. I mean, for this one, I felt like I was part of saving the world. Like, I wear this thing like a badge of honor."
King was holding up her vaccine card.