PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Just as the pause on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine was lifted, two more cases of rare but serious clots were discovered.
“Two more with two more million doses given in that time interval is about what was expected,” says Dr. John Sullivan, the chief medical officer at St. Clair Health.READ MORE: College Students Across Western Pennsylvania Celebrate Commencement In Person
As part of resuming vaccinations with J&J, the FDA added a warning label about the risk of the unusual clots in women under 50. The two new cases were younger than 60 — a woman and a man.
“It’s one male out of eight million people. So this is a really rare, rare event,” says Dr. Tariq Cheema of AHN Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. “What the CDC will probably look at is the history of these patients, and see if there are any other factors that could have led to these blood clots.”
These two additional patients bring the total confirmed cases to 17 out of eight million doses.READ MORE: 100 Years Of The Double Dip: Kennywood Reopens And Celebrates Milestone For The Jack Rabbit
“That’s still a really small number,” Dr. Cheema said. “We focus on that 17 and we are not focusing on the denominator, which is eight million.”
Even so, some people are hesitant to get this vaccine.
“What stands out in your mind is a rare, severe complication,” Dr. Sullivan said. “Yes, you recognize that these are risks, and yes, you would feel badly with any complication happening to any of your patients you recommended something to.”
But catching COVID can be worse. Doctors point out that the risk of blood clots and other serious complications with COVID is much higher.MORE NEWS: First Week Of Landmark Trial Against Opioid Distributors In West Virginia Comes To An End
Dr. Cheema says for some people, the shot might be their only shot at full vaccination.