FILE - In this Monday, April 19, 2021 file photo, White House press secretary Jen Psaki gives a COVID-19 vaccination update during a press briefing at the White House in Washington. Even before the coronavirus surfaced, training guides by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted the difficulty of communicating in a public health crisis, when fear and uncertainty are running high. Yet how leaders communicate can be key to winning public cooperation. Or undermining it. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

By CANDICE CHOI Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — The “pause” of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine last week is just the latest crisis-messaging challenge for officials during the pandemic. Confronted with rare cases of blood clots potentially linked to the shots, U.S. health officials faced a delicate task: how to suspend the shots without setting off alarm. Whether the pause seriously undermines public confidence in the vaccine remains to be seen. But by promptly notifying the public, officials were following a fundamental rule in the crisis playbook: Be transparent.