ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The six women that got blood clots from getting the Johnson and Johnson vaccine may have things in common.
Dr. Charles Ruis, director of the Southwest Health District, said those cases out of more than six million vaccinations means the blood clot situation is rare.
He said the odds of a patient who got the Johnson and Johnson shot are overwhelmingly in the patient’s favor. Researchers are trying to figure out what caused the clots.
Ruis said some of the women had a low platelet count when diagnosed.
“We don’t know if the condition of low platelets prior to getting the vaccine predisposes a person to these clots or whether the vaccine itself does something to the platelets,” said Ruis.
Ruis said this is a big question they won’t know the answer to until more studies are done.
He said platelets are an integral part of the body’s clotting mechanism.
“Without healthy platelets or not a sufficient number, we would basically bleed to death internally or externally,” said Ruis.
Ruis said the blood clotting the health care system is most concerned about is those inside the skull. Adding this kind of clot would result in a bad headache.
“The ones that are being talked about now are the blood clots that are developing within the veins of the circulatory system, inside the skull, but we also want to be on the lookout for clots that might develop in other parts of the body,” said Ruis.
He said something that will be investigated is if any of the victims had underlying health issues.
“These individuals might have had some preexisting conditions that made them more susceptible to a side effect,” said Ruis.
He said the possibility does exist that patients were completely normal and had clots because of the vaccine.
“We don’t really know if these individuals just happened to have these clots and it purely coincidence that they got them after getting the vaccine,” said Dr. Ruis.
He said as more tests are being done, it will most likely be weeks before they know if the Johnson and Johnson shot was the cause of these clots.
Ruis said you should contact your health care provider if you experience any unusual side effects from the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Some side effects include shortness of breath, swelling or pain in the legs, and severe headache within three weeks after getting the shot.