NewsVaccine in Arizona


Valley doctors discuss safety of Johnson & Johnson, other vaccines

Posted at 4:48 PM, Apr 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-16 09:35:21-04

PHOENIX — The nation was stunned this week after the CDC and FDA paused the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The decision was made after six women all experienced a rare but very severe blood clot in their brain within two weeks of receiving their shots.

On Thursday, a new study from Oxford found every vaccine now available has had incidents of this rare event, seeing it in about five of every million people vaccinated.

“If you look at some studies that look at this specific kind of clot called Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis (CVST), the rate of this kind of clot happening in people who have not had the vaccine or in other words, on average in everyday life, is almost the same,” said Family medicine doctor Andrew Carrol.

Dr. Carrol says that’s significant because these CVST blood clots may not have been caused by the vaccine but naturally occurred. Found only due to the fact that health officials are monitoring more than 70 million people who’ve gotten the vaccine. However, researchers may indeed find it is connected to the vaccine and make recommendations on who may need to avoid it based on underlying health factors.

Furthermore, researchers found you are far more likely to experience this rare blood clotting if you catch the COVID virus.

“In COVID-19 patients in the hospital, many of them, as many as 20 to 30% of people who are hospitalized with COVID have clots, I’ve seen it a lot, it ends up being one of those things that can actually kill the patient very quickly with COVID,” said Dr. Carrol.

While the vaccine has overwhelmingly prevented hundreds of thousands if not millions from getting the virus, data recently released from the CDC shows around 5,600 people have contracted COVID-19 despite receiving the vaccine.

“Nobody should be thinking that there’s a 0% chance of being infected, which by the way is part of the reason we’re still saying to distance and mask up,” said Emergency Room Physician Murtaza Akhter.

Of those 5,600, 398 ended up hospitalized, 79 passed away. According to AZDHS, 298 Arizonans have contracted the virus after vaccination, fortunately, none have died.

Dr. Akhter says those tiny numbers of reinfection further prove the vaccines offer broad protection, further illustrated by what he’s seeing in Valley hospitals.

“Almost exclusively the ones who are sick enough to be admitted, are the ones who aren’t vaccinated, so we’ve even anecdotally clearly seen a difference in that the people we’re admitting now almost always are the ones who haven’t been vaccinated,” said Dr. Akhter.

Health officials are expected to meet next week where they will determine what course to take when it comes to the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.