PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The CDC and FDA suspended immunization with the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine for six cases of rare clotting syndrome in women aged 18 to 48 within two weeks of their shot.
“Only six cases out of 6.8 million doses. However, if you are one of the unfortunate patients who have symptoms after receiving this vaccine, I can understand why you may be concerned, ”said Dr. Marc Itskowitz, Primary Care Internist at Allegheny Health Network.
“Of the blood clots seen in the United States, one was fatal and one patient is in critical condition,” said Dr. Peter Marks, director of biologics at the Food and Drug Administration.
The clots can appear in the brain, abdomen, and leg – presumably related to an overactive immune response to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The unusual feature here is that the levels of certain blood cells called platelets are low.
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“It appears to be mainly in younger women, where the immune system we know is usually more robust and aggressive in causing these autoantibodies,” said Dr. Itskowitz.
“For people who received the vaccine more than a month ago, the risk is currently very low,” said Dr. Anne Scheuchet, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the CDC.
If you’ve had the J&J vaccine in the past few weeks, watch out for symptoms.
“Severe headache, stomach ache, leg pain, or shortness of breath,” said Dr. Be afraid. “You should see your doctor and get medical treatment.”
Treatment with a standard anticoagulant called heparin makes it worse, so doctors must use alternatives.
“This is proof that the surveillance system is working,” said Dr. Itskowitz. “The fact that the CDC and FDA were able to identify this rare side effect occurred. I think this is thanks to the system.”
He was busy reassuring worried patients.
“Just because you received the J&J vaccine doesn’t make you worry. We told them that they were developing unusual symptoms, especially within 13 days, 14 days of receiving the vaccine, ”said Dr. Itskowitz.
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“As long as we can get enough supplies for the other two vaccines, it really makes sense to promote those vaccines at this point,” he added.
“We didn’t see this type of low platelet syndrome among the other vaccines,” said Dr. Be afraid.
“But it will be of concern to patients who have received the vaccine,” said Dr. Itskowitz. “Unfortunately, it will also stir up more hesitation.”
The CDC’s Vaccine Advisory Panel will meet on Wednesday to discuss whether to limit the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to specific groups, such as: B. Men over 50, or whether to discontinue use in favor of Pfizer and Moderna.