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Colorado Vascular Surgeon Explains What To Watch For If You've Received The J&J Vaccine

DENVER (CBS4) - At least 122, 280 Coloradans have received the Johnson & Johnson dose. Now, many are wondering if they're at risk for blood clots now possibly linked to the vaccine.

The kind of blood clot being investigated is called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. Six blood clots were seen six to 13 days after vaccination in women only so far. Those women range from 18 to 48 years old.

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"The first thing is to not panic," said Dr. Barbara Melendez, vascular surgeon at the Vascular Institute of the Rockies. "The likelihood that you'll have a problem is less than one in a million."

Melendez says at least 6.8 million Americans have received the Johnson & Johnson dose. She explains, with only six cases reported in the country so far, the risk is minimal at .0004%. There are signs to look out for if you've already received the Johnson &Johnson vaccine.

"This blood clot that women are having after the immunization is a very specific type of blood clot that's in the venous system in the brain, so one of the most common symptoms is headache," said  Melendez. "A blood clot in a leg can cause leg swelling, a blood clot that goes to the lungs can cause shortness of breath, so those are the symptoms that people should be looking out for."

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She says patients are more likely to develop blood clots from COVID-19 than from the vaccine itself.

"We're just being very cautious, which is a good thing," Melendez said.

If it's been at least two weeks since you received your Johnson & Johnson vaccine and you haven't noticed any symptoms, Melendez says you're likely in the clear. She says you should still monitor for symptoms or signs of blood clots.

If there are any signs, she recommends going to your local hospital emergency room.

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