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  • Dr. Kate Henry

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine - How to Think Through the News

Updated: Mar 15, 2022

I could write a huge post on this, but it's honestly better if you just watch this video.


00:00​ Overview of FDA & CDC decision to pause Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the U.S. amid rare blood clot cases

01:54​ What is Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis (CVST)?

03:41​ What are the symptoms of CVST, or Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis?

04:17​ Other risk factors for CVST

04:45​ Best tools for medical professionals to make CVST diagnosis

05:01​ Is CVST what we’re seeing with the J&J vaccine, and what’s the actual likelihood of it happening?

07:05​ Why it’s contraindicated for medical professionals to treat these blood clots with heparin products

07:33​ How is this similar and/or different from what’s been reported about the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots?

09:18​ Relative risk of CVST from (potentially) J&J vaccine versus other factors


11:37​ What is VAERS? Clearing up some common misunderstandings

13:25​ What to do if you were scheduled to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

14:12​ What symptoms to look for if you’ve received the J&J vaccine within the past 2-3 weeks

15:14​ Can clotting from this condition happen in other places in the body besides the brain? 15:42​ Different symptoms of blood clots in the lungs and legs

15:25​ Possible explanation for disproportionate cases of post-J&J vaccine thrombosis in young women

18:03​ Should people proceed as normal with receiving mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (such as Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna)?

19:36​ Different perspectives on decision to pause J&J vaccination amid vaccine hesitancy 23:11​ Advice for people still on the fence about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine

24:43​ How to care for yourself and others to prevent further lockdown and COVID-19 transmission


If you have risk factors that make you more likely to have a stroke, take care of them now. I can help.

  • Stop chemical birth control and switch to a non-chemical form of contraception.

  • Stop smoking.

  • Get to a healthy weight.

  • Exercise.

  • Don't get COVID (practice hygeine, social distancing, hand washing, immune optimization via good nutrition, etc.)

If you already got the vaccine, don't worry. Educate yourself about the signs of CVST and obviously, go to the ER if you get them. You most likely won't - the chances are incredibly low that you'll experience a CVST - about one in a million as far as we can tell. This mean's 999,999 people out of a million won't be affected. You're much more likely to get a fatal blood clot from COVID, birth control, or being pregnant than you are to get a clot as a result of getting the COVID vaccine.

Signs of CVST are very difficult to ignore. You'd have an abnormal, probably excruciating headache that would worsen when you changed positions. It would be unlike any headache you've ever had in your life, and it wouldn't be mild. You'd know something was up.

You'd also have vision changes, seizures, pass out and/ or experience a distinct change in mental status or consciousness. Likely, if you have a CVST you won't even know; someone else will end up taking you to the ER.

My takeaway:

Don't overfocus or worry about this. If it's been less than 2 weeks since you got J&J and you get a new and debilitating headache and vision changes, head to the ER. If not, go about your normal life.

Call me if you have questions about reducing your risk specifically (like if you should take fish oil, aspirin, etc.).

If you're new to my practice and you want my help, schedule a Discovery Call today.

If you're an existing client with questions, schedule a follow up to talk this through.

Here for you,

Dr. Kate


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