B.C. man hospitalized with AstraZeneca vaccine-induced blood clot

A B.C. man says surgeons removed more than six feet of his small intestine due to a massive blood clot caused by the AstraZeneca vaccine.

In a Facebook post, Shaun Mulldoon, 41, said he first felt stomach pains 10 days after his shot and was hospitalized for vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) one week later.

“Seventeen days after my vaccine, (I) ended up going into emergency surgery to remove over six feet of my small intestine. I had a massive blood clot,” said Mulldoon, who lives in the Fraser Health region.

He had a second surgery two days after his first where doctors removed even more of his small intestine.

“I really wish they had let us know what ‘worst-case scenario’ might look like,” Mulldoon said.

It’s B.C.’s second case of VITT this month. A woman in her 40s is recovering after being hospitalized for a clot last week in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.

“For some reason, in some people, the vaccine seems to stimulate an immune response that develops antibodies against our platelets. This causes a type of clotting that is different from other types of blood clots. … It is a very challenging one to treat,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer.

Henry said anyone who develops VITT symptoms, which include persistent and severe headaches, pains in the chest or abdomen, swelling or redness in limbs and shortness of breath, within 28 days of receiving the vaccine should contact their health-care provider or call 811.

“Recognizing the symptoms and getting treatment early is important,” she said.

A week following his surgery, Mulldoon remains hospitalized and is listed in stable condition.

“My surgeon told me it was very close,” he said. “If you get (AstraZeneca) and do not feel 100 per cent get yourself to emergency immediately.”

There have been 28 suspected cases of VITT and four deaths associated with the 2.3 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine that have been administered in Canada.

British Columbia has delivered 272,537 jabs of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The Health Ministry plans to limit its remaining supply of the AstraZeneca for second doses only, but Henry suggested Thursday that those who received a first dose of AstraZeneca may have the option to receive a jab of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines when it comes time for a second dose.

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