Sort of good news about the risk of blood clots from the AZ vaccine, and maybe from the J&J vaccine, although the jury is still out on that one as to whether that vaccine also raises the rare risk of blood clots.
It’s a study reported in the NEJM linking that AZ vaccine to a rare auto-immune reaction,
That means the body attacks part of itself for unknown reasons, presumably when it’s defending itself against a perceived threat.
I have celiac disease (CD), for example, an auto-immune condition in which cells in the small intestine are destroyed by the body’s own defense system in response to a threat the body thinks it’s getting from the ingestion of gluten.
Big mistake by the body, of course, especially since it means I can’t enjoy, for example, standard beer (and if you’ve ever tasted gluten-free beer you’ll know why that is never gonna replace regular beer).
But hey, it is what it is and since there’s no arguing with your body, and since there’s no other effective treatment for CD, I just have to avoid gluten as much as possible.
In the case of the AZ vaccine, these researchers propose that the AI response to the vaccine in those rare clotting complications leads to the production of big blood lots, and those clots in turn spur a large drop in platelets, those blood cells intimately involved in clot formation.
The good news, of course, is that this insight points out a way to fight off this rare reaction.
The bad news, I guess, is that we don’t yet have terrific ways to prevent auto-immune responses.
As a science optimist, though, I think this will come eventually, hopefully sooner rather than the alternative.