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What To Know If You Have Received The Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

BOSTON (CBS) – The CDC and FDA called for a pause on the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine because some patients developed rare blood clots. WBZ-TV's Dr. Mallika Marshall shared some information about what you need to know if you have received the vaccine.

Dr. Mallika is offering her best advice, but as always, consult your personal doctor before making any decisions about your personal health.

What are the symptoms of this blood clot?

The symptoms to look out for would be those associated with other types of blood clots like pain or swelling in the lower part of the leg, shortness of breath or chest pain, severe abdominal pain, and severe headache. If you are within 3-4 weeks of getting the J&J vaccine and develop any of these symptoms, you should be seen right away. In fact, regardless of your vaccine status, if you develop any of these symptoms, as a rule, you should seek immediate attention.

How are they treated?

These types of blood clots are treated differently than typical blood clots. In fact, giving common blood thinners, like heparin, often used to treat common blood clots can make matters worse in these cases. So if you seek medical attention, let your doctors know that you recently received the J&J vaccine.

If you had the J&J vaccine a few weeks ago, are you in the clear?

All of the cases here in the U.S. developed within 6-13 days of getting the vaccine. So if you are several weeks out or more from your vaccine, it is highly unlikely that you're going to develop this or any other rare complications.

What do you say to people who will be more hesitant to take this vaccine now, assuming the pause is lifted?

I would say take comfort in the fact that the FDA and CDC are taking a really close look at this to figure out if the vaccine is to blame and if so, who should and who should not get the J&J vaccine. Perhaps certain people on certain medications or with certain histories should avoid this particular vaccine. We'll know more soon.

In the meantime, I personally have close family members who have recently received the J&J vaccine and I'm not worried about them. The risk is exceptionally small. No such risk has been observed with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Plus, it's important to remember, COVID-19, the disease, commonly causes blood clots and other life-threatening conditions so it's important to keep that in mind.

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