Entornointeligente.com / Rishard Khan
There is a minuscule risk of developing blood clots after receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine– so low that experts deem it a rare occurrence.
However, after recent allegations that an elderly person was paralysed and hospitalised for a clot after receiving the jab, some citizens are fearful of it.
Internal medicine specialist Dr Joel Teelucksingh believes the risk is low enough to be considered almost non-existent but advises that those who think they may be at a higher risk for developing the clots due to underlying conditions consult their physicians.
“If you think you are at an increased risk for blood clots or you had a blood clot in the past, it would be prudent to chat with your physician before. Especially if you’re on some novel or very potent blood thinners,” he told Guardian Media.
He also advised that medical treatment should be sought after receiving the vaccine if they experience any adverse reactions.
“If you have any sort of chest pain, shortness of breath, swollen legs or swollen arm, headaches which are worsening with nausea (vomiting), blurred vision, speech issues following the vaccine- you definitely want to be evaluated for the possibility of a clot,” he said.
“It’s fabulously rare- vanishingly so but it should be borne in mind that there have been reported case (internationally).”
The chance of developing a clot is around 0.0004 per cent. That means the probability of it occurring is one in every 250,000 people. It’s a relatively low probability compared to that of developing clots from smoking and using birth control. Most importantly, however, it’s significantly lower than the chance of developing clots from contracting COVID-19 which stands at 16.5 per cent.
It’s why health experts stress that it’s about evaluating the risks and benefits of the vaccine.
“You get on a plane- you don’t know you’re going to make it to the other side. You get on the highway here in Trinidad in my small car– I’m not sure I’m making it to the next place,” clinical immunologist Dr Michele Monteil said.
“The point is that…life is about risk and sometimes you have to take measured risks and I think vaccination is one of those that I would urge you to take.”
Virology Professor at the University of the West Indies Dr Christopher Oura also held the view that the benefit of receiving the jab far outweighs the risk of the clots. His assessment comes not only from an academic standpoint but also from a personal one.
“I have actually taken the vaccine. I’ve had the AstraZeneca vaccine. All the people I know around me have had the AstraZeneca vaccine because I’m currently in the UK and I’ve heard of no problems,” he said.
“When I look at the data very carefully and I know this virus very well and I see the age groups…I see people suffering from it a year after they’ve been infected in some cases- it is absolutely clear to me those very very small risks that I said earlier the vaccine benefits far outweigh the risks.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also previously declared the benefits of the vaccine outweighs the risk of blood clots.
Earlier this week allegations arose that an elderly man was paralysed and fighting for his life after he had a blood clot days after he received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The South West Regional Health Authority has since denied any link between the vaccine and the man’s condition.—Rishard Khan
LINK ORIGINAL: The Trinidad Guardian