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Pulmonary embolism, transient ischaemic attack and thrombocytopenia after the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine


As with past illnesses, an approach has been taken to vaccinate the population and halt the spread of COVID-19. On 13 April 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration called for a halt in the administration of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine due to reports of thrombosis and thrombocytopenia being associated with vaccination. We present the case of a 43-year-old woman with a history of dyslipidaemia, depression, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and obesity presenting with dyspnoea, headache and light headedness of 3 days’ duration. Ten days prior, she had received the J&J COVID-19 vaccine. She was found to have thrombocytopenia, elevated D-dimers, pulmonary emboli and presented 1 day after discharge with an arterial clot despite being on apixaban. Six other US-based cases of venous thrombotic events are being reviewed at present. Patients should be informed of the possibility of such events to provide informed consent.

  • COVID-19
  • drugs and medicines
  • respiratory medicine
  • vaccination/immunisation
  • infectious diseases

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