Published April 15, 2021
Nationwide distribution of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine was paused earlier this week after some vaccine recipients developed rare clots.
UB neurosurgeon Elad I. Levy, SUNY Distinguished Professor and L. Nelson Hopkins MD Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB, answers some common questions.
These clots occur in the veins of the brain. The clots are called venous sinus occlusions.
It should be understood that these clots are very rare. The main symptom to watch out for is new onset headaches that continue to get worse over time.
People get venous sinus clots in their brains from dehydration, smoking or underlying clotting disorders.
Other kinds of clots can include deep vein thrombosis of the legs, which can break off and go to the lungs, called a pulmonary embolus. These can result from prolonged sitting on, for example, long international flights or from being bedridden. Dehydration and smoking can also cause these kinds of clots.
We don’t know yet, but this is definitely something investigators will be looking into.
Yes, I would think that due to increased awareness and vigilance we will hear of more cases.
The societal and individual benefits of vaccination are critical. I personally have been vaccinated, as have my parents and spouse. I recommend getting vaccinated.