HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — While blood clots potentially associated with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine seem to be pretty rare, many people are still wanting to know specific warning signs to look out for.
Out of seven million J&J vaccines given, there have been reports of 6 people with a rare, specific type of blood clot.
“The side effect that’s been reported with that is a phenomena known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, along with low platelet counts,” said State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris.
He continues on saying that CVST is a very rare type of blood clot associated with veins that drain the central nervous system.
“They can present with stroke symptoms,” he adds. “It’s a type of stroke. It’s a type of blood clot that can produce stroke.”
Johns Hopkins Medicine reports that symptoms may vary depending on where exactly the blood clot is found, but some physical symptoms include: headache, blurred vision, fainting or loss of consciousness, loss of control over movement in part of the body, seizures, or coma.
“The incidents of this disease, of this type of blood clot, is somewhere on the order of a few people per million in population,” said Dr. Harris.
With only six reported cases out of around seven million J&J recipients, Dr. Harris says it matches the background and rarity of the syndrome. This is means the numbers are not surprising, but there is something that makes this concerning for doctors.
“The concern is that it was also associated with low platelet counts which is unusual and which is not normally seen with that type of syndrome,” said Dr. Harris. “So the question is: Is this just a random occurrence that we have been picking up because we’re monitoring people who have gotten these vaccines or is there some type of cause of relationship?”
Here in Alabama, there have been no reports of Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis in association with the Johnson & Johnson vaccination. Dr. Harris says out of about 71,297 doses of the vaccine have been administered in the state so far, and there are no reports of extreme adverse effects.
If someone received the J&J vaccine three weeks ago, Dr. Harris said he does not believe there are any risks to worry about.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say generally, blood clots can affect around 900,000 people every year and everyone is at risk.
Signs and symptoms for blood clots in the body or Deep Vein Thrombosis, as reported by the CDC, include: swelling, pain, tenderness, or redness of the skin.
If you have any symptoms of blood clots, whether or not you’ve had the J&J vaccine, the CDC recommends seeing your doctor as soon as possible.