Local reaction to Johnson and Johnson vaccine hold

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY (WWAY) — The CDC and FDA recommended a pause on the Johnson and Johnson vaccine Tuesday morning. According to both, the vaccine has been connected to six cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis.

CVST for short, Dr. West Paul explained.

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“It’s a vein in your head…. actually at the top of your head,” New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Chief Clinical Officer said. “So one of the symptoms that we ask people to look for is severe headache that does not go away. This is a blood clot. It’s a little bit different than a regular blood clot. But it can also occur in the lungs, in the belly, and in the legs.”

Several agencies quickly pulled the vaccine from clinics, including UNCW. College sophomore, Ashley Davis said she got her Johnson and Johnson shot there almost two weeks ago.

“I got major body aches, I got a temperature, I had the chills. It was that night and the whole day after,” said Davis. Davis revealed she was nervous about the Johnson and Johnson pause.

Fortunately, Davis didn’t experience any of the clotting symptoms like headache, swelling, leg pain, and abdominal pain.

According to Paul, the six subjects who experienced CVST were all women, and all between the ages of 18 and 48.

“Females are more susceptible to getting this condition just in general. But, did it have anything to do with their age or their medications or their habits? We don’t know. And that’s why the pause happened.”

Paul was especially interested in Johnson and Johnson’s similarities to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

AstraZeneca was widely distributed in Europe. It was also paused after being linked to 22 cases of the rare kind of blood clot.

Only six cases out of the more than seven million doses of Johnson and Johnson given in the US have been reported. It’s a number small enough to bring some, like Haley Mrstik, relief.

“So honestly I feel kind of safer that they’re doing that and looking out for any potential harmful things that could come out of this,” said Mrstik.

The frontline worker got her Johnson and Johnson vaccine two weeks ago, but says she wouldn’t change a thing.

“Compared to COVID, to me it’s a no brainer. Like yeah, there’s risks and everything, but the COVID symptoms and long lasting symptoms, seem so much worse in comparison.”

According to Dr. Paul, this rare blood clot should not be treated with a blood thinner, like Aspirin.

If you develop a long term headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or swelling within three weeks of getting the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, call your doctor immediately.