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Pulmonary embolism, transient ischaemic attack and thrombocytopenia after the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine
  1. Bilal Malik1,
  2. Atefeh Kalantary1,
  3. Kamal Rikabi1 and
  4. Arvind Kunadi2
  1. 1Internal Medicine, McLaren Health Care Corp/ MSU, Flint, Michigan, USA
  2. 2Nephrology/ Internal Medicine, McLaren Health Care Corp/ MSU, Flint, Michigan, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Bilal Malik; Bilal.Malik{at}


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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  • Contributors BM, A Kalantary and KR contributed equally in the researching, writing and editing of the manuscript. A Kunadi supervised the project and made significant changes to the final manuscript. All authors were in agreement with the finalised manuscript to be submitted for publication. All authors agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the manuscript are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.