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Blood-clotting patient treated at U of U Health had J & J vaccine

May 5, 2021, 1:57 PM | Updated: 6:00 pm
blood-clotting vaccine on pause Johnson and Johnson...
(This September 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows the investigational Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Credit: Cheryl Gerber, Johnson & Johnson via Associated Press)
(This September 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows the investigational Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Credit: Cheryl Gerber, Johnson & Johnson via Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY — University of Utah Health (U of U Health)  said they have treated a man for blood-clotting who received the Johnson & Johnson (J & J) COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Yazan Abou-Ismail, Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology said such cases are extremely rare, especially among men. 

“To date, there have been more than eight-million doses of J & J vaccine given out,” said Abou-Ismail.  “And there have been around 17 cases eventually identified.”  Abou-Ismael said all of the confirmed cases so far have been women, but three men are among the suspected cases.

Pain from blood clotting sent man to hospital

The man was vaccinated in April, and about ten-days later began feeling pain in his legs.  He eventually went to the emergency room where doctors discovered blood clots. Later, they diagnosed him with Vaccine-Induced Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia (VITT) syndrome.  The Centers for Disease Control has yet to confirm the case.

The patient was treated and released after spending more than four-days in the hospital.  He’s now recovering at home. 

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration paused the use of the J & J vaccine.  Eleven days later, they lifted the pause, saying the benefits of the vaccine far outweighed the risks.   Chief Medical Officer for Ambulatory Health at U of U Health, Dr. Richard Orlandi echoed that. “We want to encourage people to balance the risks and benefits of any medical intervention including vaccination for COVID,” he said. “We continue to think that the vaccine is generally safe.”

Be aware of blood-clotting symptoms

Even though cases are rare Abou-Ismail says people should be aware of possible symptoms.  They include severe persistent headache, changes in vision or seizures, severe persistent abdominal pain, chest pain or difficulty breathing, or pain, swelling or tenderness to the touch in the legs.  He said people with those symptoms should contact their doctor. 

 

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