A 49-year-old resident of Brighton, Colorado claimed the Moderna vaccine against COVID-19 caused him to develop blood clots in his leg. He said he feared dying from the blood clots, which caused his left leg to swell and become painful. Doctors eventually said that the Coloradian was afflicted with deep vein thrombosis (DVT), in which a blood clot forms in a distant blood vessel such as in the thigh or lower leg.
Brighton resident Jeff Johnson told local station KDVR that he first received the Moderna mRNA jab at the city’s Salud Family Health Centers. He did not find any issues until about a week after his inoculation. Johnson said he felt swelling, pain and tenderness in his left leg. “I was concerned, naturally. I know blood clots are bad and I was afraid to die,” he said.
The 49-year-old then went to the emergency room, where doctors found two blood clots in his left leg. Johnson was then informed that he had DVT: His doctor said the blood clots in his left leg could have been caused by the Moderna vaccine, but there is no evidence for the claim. Johnson’s condition improved after medical treatment, and he is set to return to work. The Brighton resident expressed hope that he has no other issues – outside of the blood clots which developed in his left leg – after getting the vaccine.
Johnson said he became more concerned about the clots on his left leg after he heard similar news from the single-dose Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. However, the blood clots linked to the Janssen jab are different from the one the Brighton resident experienced. The chance of developing DVT over the course of a lifetime ranges from two percent to five percent. On the other hand, the chance of dying from it is less than 0.01 percent.
Reports of blood clots have been linked to different kinds of Wuhan coronavirus vaccines in use
The rare blood clots linked to the Janssen vaccine, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, are known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST). It occurs when blood clots obstruct the sinus channels of the brain responsible for draining blood, which can cause hemorrhages. Of the nine patients who developed CVST after reportedly getting the J&J shot, one died and two were in critical condition.
Meanwhile, Salud Vice President of Medical Services Dr. Pradeep Dhar clarified that CVST has not been linked with the two-dose Moderna jab. Speaking to KDVR, he said he has only seen three reports of DVT out of at least 18 million vaccine appointments. “The risk of getting a [COVID-19] infection and complications is way higher than the risk of having any clot with any vaccination,” Dhar commented.
Because of the risks associated with the J&J vaccine, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending that the jab be suspended. The agencies said the vaccine’s rollout ought to be suspended until more data can be obtained. (Related: More people develop blood clots after receiving the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.)
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on April 16 that J&J reached out to AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna to conduct a study examining the link between the COVID-19 vaccines and blood clots. Federal health officials approached by the WSJ on the matter said the mRNA vaccine manufacturers declined the offer, claiming that the Pfizer and Moderna jabs “appeared safe.” Only the British drug firm accepted J&J’s invitation for a joint study – which said that people who contract COVID-19 are eight to 10 times more likely to suffer blood clots than those who have completed the vaccine doses.
Reports of blood clots also marred AstraZeneca’s Wuhan coronavirus vaccine in March of this year. Many European countries moved quickly to suspended use of the jab after two individuals from Denmark suffered from blood clots. While these countries have resumed use albeit with limitations, Copenhagen permanently suspended the use of the AstraZeneca jab on April 14. (Related: New research points to link between AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots.)
Danish Health Authority Director-General Søren Brostrøm elaborated on the permanent suspension: “Based on the scientific findings, our overall assessment is [that] there is a real risk of severe side effects … [from] the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca. We have, therefore, decided to remove the vaccine from our vaccination program.” The director-general continued: “It has been a difficult decision to continue our vaccine program without an effective and readily available vaccine against COVID-19. However, we have other vaccines at our disposal.”