Concerning the unexpected prothrombotic state following some coronavirus disease 2019 vaccines

J Cardiovasc Med (Hagerstown). 2022 Feb 1;23(2):71-74. doi: 10.2459/JCM.0000000000001232.


Currently, the world is coping with the COVID-19 pandemic with a few vaccines. So far, the European Medicine Agency has approved four of them. However, following widespread vaccination with the recombinant adenoviral vector-based Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, available only in the United Kingdom and Europe, many concerns have emerged, especially the report of several cases of the otherwise rare cerebral sinus vein thrombosis and splanchnic vein thrombosis. The onset of thrombosis particularly at these unusual sites, about 5--14 days after vaccination, along with thrombocytopenia and other specific blood test abnormalities, are the main features of the vaccine side effects. The acronym vaccine-induced prothrombotic immune thrombocytopenia (VIPIT) has been coined to name this new condition, with the aim of highlighting the difference from the classic heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). VIPIT seems to primarily affect young to middle-aged women. For this reason, the vaccine administration has been stopped or limited in a few European countries. Coagulopathy induced by the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine (and probably by Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine as well in the USA) is likely related to the use of recombinant vector DNA adenovirus, as experimentally proven in animal models. Conversely, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use mRNA vectors. All vaccine-induced thrombotic events should be treated with a nonheparin anticoagulant. As the condition has some similarities with HIT, patients should not receive any heparin or platelet transfusion, as these treatments may potentially worsen the clinical course. Aspirin has limited rational use in this setting and is not currently recommended. Intravenous immunoglobulins may represent another potential treatment, but, most importantly, clinicians need to be aware of this new unusual postvaccination syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ad26COVS1 / adverse effects
  • Adenoviridae / immunology
  • ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Thrombosis / etiology*
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic / etiology*


  • Ad26COVS1
  • ChAdOx1 nCoV-19