COVID-19 may lead to blood clots, rather than vaccines causing problem

By MyVue Staff Reporter

Basseterre, 6th May, 2021 ( One of the reasons advanced by some Kittitians and Nevisians when it comes to their decision not to take the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for the Coronavirus, is the possibility of developing a blood clot and perhaps dying or becoming seriously ill.

However, one doctor in St. Kitts has opined that “…you are more likely to get a blood clot from COVID-19 infection than you would have from getting any vaccine.”

Speaking recently in the local media, Dr. Cuthbert Sebastian Jr., Emergency Room Physician at the Joseph Nathaniel France (JNF) General Hospital, in St. Kitts, confirmed that “Scientists are now looking at the possible link between the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine and blood clots.”

He added, “ However, contracting COVID-19 poses a higher risk of getting blood clots than getting them from the vaccine.”

But he noted that no link has been found at this time, and that there are a few theories of what could have caused the blood clots, but that the evidence is not concrete.

The position of the Kittitian doctor appears to be supported by a recent publication by Harvard University Medical School in the United States which has indicated that elevated levels of blood clotting, have been linked to worse outcomes in severe COVID-19 cases.

The report, which was published back in September, 2020, revealed that “Patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19 infections who have high levels of the blood-clotting protein factor V are at elevated risk for serious injury from blood clots such as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.”

This was according to a new study by Harvard Medical School investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The study also advised, that “On the other hand, critically ill patients with COVID-19 and low levels of factor V appear to be at increased risk for death from a form of coagulopathy that resembles disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)—a devastating, often fatal abnormality in which blood clots form in small vessels throughout the body, leading to exhaustion of clotting factors and proteins that control coagulation.”

In some countries, however, governments have expressed concerns, while others in the past suspended their inoculation programs, fearing that blood clots were being formed in some vaccinated patients. However, most of those countries eventually resumed their vaccination protocols. Two main reasons were advanced.

One spoke to inconclusive evidence to make the link and the other preached that the health benefits outweighed the potential risks and that the number of patients with clots was not significant, compared to those safely administered.

Here in St. Kitts & Nevis, some became concerned, and fearful, especially after the news broke a few months ago that patients in Europe and who had been administered the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, had later died from blood clots.

“There are other reasons these individuals may have gotten blood clots and one of the theories is that they have possibly been exposed to COVID-19 before because COVID-19 actually increases your risk for blood clots at a much higher rate than they are proposing that these vaccines do,” said Dr. Sebastian.

This is the same vaccine that is being used in St. Kitts & Nevis. However, as of Thursday, 6th May,2021, some 13,218 persons had been vaccinated, (of which 277 had received their second doses).

Put another way, 40% of the targeted population have received their injections, but there have been no cases made public of anyone becoming ill or developing blood clots in the two-island nation.

Therefore, thus far, the medical evidence made public, as it pertains to St. Kitts & Nevis’s experience, has not supported the claims of the danger of blot clots, though authorities are remaining vigilant.

As medical experts continue their efforts to encourage Kittitians and Nevisians to be vaccinated, they have stepped up their sensitization campaign to deliver the real facts about the vaccines, vaccination, COVID-19, and the consequences of not reaching the 70% (or 33,558 persons) herd immunity.

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