Among the myriad reasons people are declining to receive the COVID-19 vaccine is concern that getting vaccinated would increase their risk for blood clots. Like many rationalizations of the vaccine-hesitant, it’s based on misinterpretation of a nugget of truth. Relaying the findings of an article just published in the British Medical Journal might be useful in helping you set the record straight. The fact is that vaccination with either the AstraZeneca/Oxford or the Pfizer BioNTech really does increase short-term risk of some hematological and vascular events that could lead to hospitalization and even death—however, patients will face “significantly” greater risk for those same outcomes if they become infected with COVID-19. COVID-19-positive patients were found to be roughly nine times more likely to experience thrombocytopenia vs vaccinated subjects who did not have the virus; 190 times more likely to experience thromboembolism; and 2.5 times more likely to experiences CVST. Add to that the known, accepted effects of the virus on the lungs and overall health (including risk of hospitalization and death unrelated to clotting), and rational patients may be more likely to understand the relative risk and decide to get vaccinated.
What to Tell Patients Who Decline COVID-19 Vaccine Because ‘It Causes Blood Clots’ (After ‘No, It Doesn’t’)