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Bay Area Man Treated for Rare Blood Clot After Receiving J&J Vaccine

UCSF officials on Monday said a Bay Area man in his early 30s is recuperating from treatment for a blood clot that formed after he received the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine.

The man went to the hospital with severe pain in his leg and lower back last week, 13 days after getting his J&J shot, according to UCSF officials. Dr. Andrew Leavitt, a hematologist at the hospital, said he thinks this is the first reported male case in the U.S.

As of Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had reported the condition in 15 people, all women, among the 8 million doses that have been administered nationally. It involves unusual clots that occur together with low levels of blood-clotting platelets.

Three of the women previously identified died, and seven remain hospitalized.

U.S. health officials on Friday lifted an 11-day pause on COVID-19 vaccinations using J&J’s single-dose shot, after scientific advisers decided its benefits outweigh the rare risk of blood clot.

The man at UCSF is making good progress and should be discharged within a few days, the hospital said in a statement.

Bloodwork showed he had the same syndrome as the other patients, although initial imaging did not show a blood clot, said UCSF spokeswoman Suzanne Leigh. Physicians later discovered a tiny clot, she said.

Leavitt says the medical world has been gathering data on rare cases of blood clots associated with both the AstraZeneca and J&J vaccines, but why those clots are happening remains unclear.

“The exact mechanism is trying to be understood rapidly by the worldwide medical community,” he said. “It includes low platelets and blood clots in funny locations.”

As it recommended resuming J&J vaccinations, the FDA updated its online vaccine information leaflets for would-be recipients and health workers.

— Polly Stryker and The Associated Press

Copyright 2021 KQED