Visualizing the Risk-Reward Calculus of the J&J Vaccine 

The J&J vaccine is vastly safer than COVID.

Following up on yesterday’s piece, this Washington Post article is worth a read. It discusses an assortment of numbers and statistics, and also offers a decent visualization of our current understanding of the risk-reward calculus for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Nearly everything we do is a balance between risk and reward. Driving down the street, as mentioned above. Walking outside, where a meteorite could suddenly slam into your skull. Sitting on your couch, where your floor could give way or an electrical fire could break out or a bear could crash through your window. None of these things is likely, so we don’t worry about them, but they could. We draw a balance.

That’s the debate that occurred at the CDC: What’s the balance of the risk of the clots with the reward of vaccinations? Perhaps more important, how does the presentation of that balance affect how people perceive the risks and rewards?

My hope is that this pause will turn out to be a minor blip. Nevertheless, it continues to feel like a misstep, one which will cost many more lives than it saves.