Vaccine Safety: The Latest from the Mayo Clinic

Vaccination offers the only way out of the COVID-19 pandemic, threatened more by vaccine hesitancy than anything else. Of concern is a recent report of six cases of cerebral venous thrombosis 1–2 weeks after the Johnson and Johnson/Janssen (JJ) vaccine, the first reported such complications despite the use of 7 million doses. Is this a very rare complication of a generally safe vaccine, is it the “tip of the iceberg,” or is it a coincidental event?

This particular risk with the JJ vaccine is 5 in a million, reassuringly an event rate lower than “background.” It is eight-fold lower than the risk seen with COVID-19 infection itself. Smoking and oral contraceptives confer even higher risks.

The message: Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. Vaccines are critical to getting back on track.

Adapted from Mayo Clinic Proceedings, July 2021.

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