Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Distribution Paused Over Rare Blood Clots

Federal health officials early this morning announced a delay in the administration of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine. Among the 6.8 million people who received the vaccine, six U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot were reported and are currently under review. Three additional cases of blood clots are currently being investigated by European health officials, and the company is also delaying rollout of the vaccine there.

Authorities stressed that a major contributor towards pausing the use of the vaccine is to ensure health-care professionals would be aware that vaccine-associated blood clots should not be treated with heparin, a conventional drug used for clotting.

According to the CDC, all six cases in the United States occurred in women between the ages of 18 and 48. An FDA official released that one recipient of the vaccine has died, and another remains in critical condition after being treated with the drug heparin.

What is cerebral venous sinus thrombosis?

Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) occurs when a blood clot forms in the brain’s venous sinuses. The clot prevents blood from draining out of the brain, which can result in blood cells breaking and blood leaking into brain tissues. This chain of events can lead to a stroke that occurs in both adults and children.

What are the symptoms of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis?

Symptoms of CVST may vary depending on the location of the blood clot. Physical symptoms that may occur include:

  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness
  • Loss of control over movement in part of the body
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Health officials also said that those who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who develop symptoms of the headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their doctor and seek medical treatment.

Going forward

As the nation prepares to begin vaccination of all citizens 16 and older, the federal government has yet to issue an official order suspending the vaccine. Health providers may still decide that for a particular patient, the benefits of receiving the single-dose vaccine outweigh the extremely rare risk of blood clotting.

It is very common for regulators to investigate safety signals when new vaccines and other medical products are administered to the public. Very often, the signals prove to be of no concern. Public health experts in both the United States and Europe continue to emphasize that for most people, the benefits of coronavirus vaccines far outweigh the risks.

In a news conference on Tuesday, federal health officials said that the government’s review would be expected to take only a matter of days. A CDC panel is expected to discuss the issue at a meeting on Wednesday.

Due to the often subtle nature of brain injuries and the complexity of the medical issues involved, it is crucial that a victim be represented by an attorney that has experience and an extensive understanding of brain injuries. The brain injury attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP, have had much experience with these very traumatic injuries. Our attorneys work closely with a team of highly-respected, professional brain injury experts to ensure that a proper diagnosis is made, and to forecast exactly what affects that injury will have on the victim’s life both presently and in the future.

About Berman & Riedel, LLP firm managing partner attorney William M. Berman:

Attorney William M. Berman focuses his practice in the areas of catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death and elder abuse and neglect. Strictly a plaintiffs’ dedicated firm, he never represents insurance companies in the defense of claims. Mr. Berman’s firm remains staunchly committed to helping those who have suffered serious injury or loss due the negligence, intentional misconduct or wrongful acts of others.

Mr. Berman has grown his firm to what is considered one of the largest and most successful elder abuse/neglect practices within California. Through his continued successes in handling claims involving nursing home and elder abuse and neglect, Mr. Berman remains a prominent figure in advocating on behalf of this vulnerable class of citizens.

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Attorney Bill Berman

William M. Berman, Esquire
Berman & Riedel, LLP
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