Mrs Neckelmann said she told her husband’s story to make people aware of the vaccine’s possible “side effects” and “that it’s not good for everyone, and in this case ruined a beautiful life, a perfect family and has affected so many people in community. “
Dr. Jerry L. Spivak, an expert in blood diseases at Johns Hopkins University who was not involved in Dr. Michael’s care, said that based on Ms. Neckelmann’s description, “I think it is a medical certainty that the vaccine was related. ”
“This is becoming very rare,”
Still, he said it should not prevent people from being vaccinated.
The condition that Michael developed, acute immunothrombocytopenia, occurs when the immune system attacks a patient’s own platelets or attacks the cells in the bone marrow that form platelets. Covid itself may cause the condition in some patients.
A long list of medications, including quinine and certain antibiotics, can also cause the disorder in some people. Dr. Spivak described the reactions as “idiosyncratic”, meaning that they affect certain individuals without rhyme or reason, possibly based on unknown genetic traits, and there is no way to predict whether anyone is susceptible.
“If you vaccinate enough people, things will happen,” he said.
Vaccines stimulate the immune system and could, in theory, in rare cases erroneously identify some of a patient’s own cells as hostile invaders to be destroyed.
Dr. Spivak said several things made the vaccine the most likely suspect in Dr. Michael’s case. The disorder occurred soon after the shot and was so severe that it caused the platelets to count down the “rocket” – a pattern similar to that in some cases caused by substances such as quinine. In addition, Dr. Michael healthy and young compared to most people who develop chronic forms of disease for other reasons. Finally, most patients – 70 percent – are women. A sudden affair in a man, especially a relatively young, healthy one, suggests a recent trigger.