Will the Astrazeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Give Me Clots and Kill Me?

By Sinnerman | simple health | 19 Apr 2021


The short answer is that there is a 99.9% chance you won't get blood clots after you take the vaccine.

The longer answer is that a few cases have been reported in Europe and New Zealand about people coming to the Emergency Department for severe headaches, chest pain, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, and being found to have clots in either the brain, lungs, abdomen, or multiple sites. These occurrences have been documented to happen 4 to 28 days after vaccination with the AstraZeneca (now known as Vaxzevria) vaccine.

The University of Cambridge’s Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication found that the risk of clot is around 1:250 000 in the general population but higher in younger people (20-29 years old) at 1.1:100 000 [1]. However, this risk is considerably higher in patients who have COVID-19. So should I be worried about getting the vaccine? No. The benefits largely outweigh the risk of getting the vaccine. However, studies are underway to understand why this is occurring. A term you might read or hear about is "heparin induced thrombocytopenia" (HIT).

Heparin belongs to a class of medications called "anticoagulants", i.e., they prevent your blood from clotting (coagulating). In a subset of patients, heparin causes an adverse reaction called HIT, where your body makes antibodies against heparin and instead leads to promotion of clotting. Using different laboratory tests, patients who received the vaccine and developed clotting were found to have these antibodies in the absence of heparin.Β This phenomena can be observed with other drugs and is termed "autoimmune HIT".

So what are the signs and symptoms of a clot?

Well the answer depends on the location.
In patients who develop a clot in their brain, they will experience a severe headache possibly accompanied by blurry vision, nausea, dizziness.
In patients who develop a clot in their lungs, they will experience shortness of breath and chest pain.
In patients who develop a clot in their abdomen, they will likely experience severe abdominal pain possibly accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
In any case, you will need to go to the Emergency Department where you will be examined and a history will be taken. For now, testing involves determining your platelet (the things that prevent you from bleeding) count, getting additional labs to analyze your body's clotting status, and imaging to rule out a clot.Β 

I'm scared what should I do?Β 

Well talk to your physician, make sure you don't have any risks for clotting (e.g., birth control pills). The risk is very small and you will likely not experience any serious side effects from the vaccine. However, should you prefer to take another vaccine and are able to, then the other brands are just as efficient in preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

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Sinnerman
Sinnerman

Doctor by day, gamer by night.


simple health
simple health

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