A 72-year-old woman, Luz Legaspi has been dealing with bruises on her arms and legs and blisters, which has bled inside her mouth after she has received the first dose of the COVID19 vaccine developed by Moderna. She has been admitted to the hospital with a severe case of immune thrombocytopenia in New York. It is a condition, which reduced the level of platelets in the blood that is an essential component for clotting. The same condition has resulted in the death of Dr. Gregory Michael, an obstetrician in Miami Beach. He has been identified with these symptoms three days after he has been vaccinated with the COVID19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNtech.
Treatments, which have been given to him, have not been able to restore platelet counts and after two weeks in the hospital, he has lost his life due to brain hemorrhage. Experts have been unable to find whether this rare blood disorder is linked to the COVID19 vaccines. More than 31 million people have been inoculated with at least one dose of the vaccines in the US. Nearly 36 similar cases of blood disorder have been documented to the government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) by the end of January 2021. Experts have said these cases have been linked to either the Pfizer and BioNtech or Moderna vaccines, which are the only two vaccines in the US that have been approved for emergency use.
The VAERS shows only those issues, which have been explained by the health care providers, or patients who are dealing with such a condition after the vaccination. It does not show whether the condition is caused by the vaccine shots. The officials from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the CDC have been investigating these cases. They have said that so far, the rate of this condition in people who have received the vaccines does not seem to be higher than the rates of normal side effects found in the US population. Therefore, these cases might be coincidental.
Overall, both vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNtech, and Moderna have been proved to be safe for people. A small number of people have been identified with some severe allergic reactions, but they can be treated and the rates of these side effects are in line with those reactions, which are caused by other vaccines, said the experts. The officials from Pfizer have said that they are looking into these cases and they have been aware of cases of thrombocytopenia in the recipients of the vaccine. However, they have not been able to find a causal link between the cases of thrombocytopenia and their vaccine. They are collecting crucial details and will soon share the same with the FDA.
Experts and hematologists, who treat thrombocytopenia, have said that they believe that the vaccines have played a role in causing this rare blood disorder. However, cases of thrombocytopenia after vaccination are quite rare. They have said that it might be due to an unknown predisposition in some people, which react to the vaccine by developing an immune response that kills their platelets. As per the report, this condition has occurred rarely in people who have received other vaccination such as the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine. Experts have said that some cases of thrombocytopenia can be fatal; therefore, it is important to report such cases to physicians who can treat them immediately. Sometimes, the condition is resistant to standard care and if a low level of platelet count exists for a long time, it can shoot up the risk of severe bleeding and brain hemorrhage.
Dr. James Bussel, who has written around 300 scientific articles on platelet disorder, has said that some of the recipients of the vaccines might have had a platelet disorder or other autoimmune conditions that might have made them more susceptible. He has said that people can be identified with this blood disorder without showing any symptoms. Therefore, in some people, the vaccines might have triggered a reaction that might have dropped the level of platelets even further causing symptoms such as bruises blisters, or bleeding. On the other hand, health experts have said that people should not be scared of such a condition and should not avoid the vaccination. They have said that the risk of contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus is much higher than the risk of developing this rare blood disorder. The officials from the CDC and FDA have said that vaccination is essential to end the pandemic. As per the report, immune thrombocytopenia is an autoimmune condition that impacts nearly 50000 people in the US. Experts have said that the condition occurs when the immune system starts attacking platelets or the cells that are responsible for their production.