BALTIMORE (WJZ) – The decision to temporarily suspend Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine because of possible blood clots has asked many how the condition really is and why federal health officials are so concerned about it.
Dr. Aloke Finn is an interventional cardiologist and professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
CONTINUE READING: I-695 Inner Loop on Putty Hill Avenue closed
"There seems to be an idiosyncratic reaction to the vaccine itself," said Sr. Finn. "A component of the vaccine that causes certain people to clot, a pro-thrombotic effect."
It is known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, or CVST for short.
Doctors say it occurs when a blood clot forms in the brain that prevents blood from flowing out of the brain.
"We need to understand who this is happening to, how many people are really getting this complication, and we need to reassure people that we have researched this problem very carefully before proceeding with the vaccination," said Dr. Finn.
The researchers are now looking for possible links between the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and the condition of the blood clot after six women under the age of 50 developed symptoms six to 13 days after vaccination.
CONTINUE READING: Baltimore County Police are investigating reports of white vans approaching children and trying to get them into a vehicle
"It turns out this may be related to the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccine delivery vehicle," said Dr. Finn. "Both are contained in an adenovirus, which is a specific type of virus, and it is believed that the body's immune response to this virus is causing this reaction."
If you received the shot within the last three weeks, look for symptoms such as severe headache, abdominal or leg pain, shortness of breath, blurred vision, or changes in mental status.
Dr. Finn emphasized now that it was not time to panic.
"The takeaway message here is that people need to remember that this is an extremely rare occurrence. Overall, the risk-benefit ratio is based on the fact of being vaccinated and preventing serious complications from COVID-19," said Dr. Finn.
If you have experienced symptoms within three weeks of receiving the Johnson & Johnson shot, Dr. Finn to see your doctor.
If you have passed the three week period, the chance that this blood clot condition will develop is very unlikely.
MORE NEWS: COVID-19 in Maryland: More than 1.4,000 new cases were reported as hospitalizations on Thursday. The positivity rate increases slightly
For the latest information on coronavirus, visit the Maryland Health Department website or call 211. All WJZ coverage of coronavirus in Maryland is here.