Although now it seems like it happened eons ago, in reality, it has been only nine months since my wife and I received our Johnson & Johnson "one-and-done" Janssen vaccinations. (In November, we both received a Moderna mRNA booster shot.) After last week’s announcement that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices was formally recommending that adults take the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines over Johnson & Johnson’s shot, I have gone from initially feeling relieved that my wife and I were able to get vaccinated so early to focusing on the fact that we lucked out by not developing potentially life-threatening blood clots. Although the solace we felt after our single-shot doses back in March was instantaneous, it was fleeting. In the early spring, access to vaccines – including the two Food and Drug Administration-approved mRNA vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna – was still scarce. Because of the limited supply of shots, health officials were prioritizing vaccinating older people and first responders. My wife and I felt fortunate to be able to get access, and I wrote about the sense of relief we both felt after having weathered a 2020 hallmarked by fear of the unknown amid lockdowns, social distancing and mask-wearing. Although the solace we felt after our single-shot doses back in March was instantaneous, it was fleeting. Sadly, the recent news of the CDC’s recommendation didn’t come as a shock. It’s the latest in a disappointing string of reports about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and it certainly served as sort of a predictable bookend to a year marked by increasing unease about having decided to seek out the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the first place. Shortly after my wife and I received our single-dose shots, in April, evidence began to emerge that suggested that the vaccine might have serious or even deadly side effects. These concerns prompted the CDC and other federal health agencies to effectively press the pause button by calling for a suspension of the vaccine’s use as they investigated early reports of blood clots, particularly among women. Then, as if to say “nothing to see here,” after a 10-day hold, the FDA and the CDC issued a statement saying that the pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the U.S. should be lifted and that the use of the vaccine could resume. Fast-forward to early June, when the public got wind that about 60 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine manufactured at a factory in Baltimore might have been contaminated and had to be thrown out and that, altogether, as many as 170 million doses may have been “in limbo,” as The New York Times described it. In a pandemic in which every newly vaccinated human marks a step forward, the missteps with the Johnson & Johnson rollout may prove quite costly. The Baltimore imbroglio made a lot of people, me included, wonder whether maybe there had been other “bad batches” that had somehow made their way into general circulation. A . . . read the full article here.