Can you get the COVID vaccine if you’re on blood thinners? Is the J&J vaccine a ‘live’ vaccine?

Answering COVID vaccine questions: Can you get the COVID vaccine if you’re on blood thinners? Is the J&J vaccine a ‘live’ vaccine?
Answering COVID vaccine questions: Can you get the COVID vaccine if you’re on blood thinners? Is the J&J vaccine a ‘live’ vaccine?

DETROIT – Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Dr. Frank McGeorge has been keeping viewers up-to-date and informed on all fronts. He’s been answering your questions about the vaccine, the vaccination process and more.

If I’m on a blood thinner can I still get the vaccine?

Yes. Being on an anticoagulant, whether it is coumadin or another medication like Xarelto is not a contraindication to receiving the vaccine. However, if a provider is concerned your blood is too thin you may be asked to adjust your dose before getting the shot.

If you are anticoagulated, there is a risk of extra bruising and bleeding. That can be minimized by using a thinner needle and applying pressure to the area afterward.

I had COVID back in November. I received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine in February. Is it necessary to get the second dose?

Based on some recent research, it’s possible you might have a good level of protection in that circumstance. But we don’t have enough information to be certain. So it’s still recommended that you get the second dose of the vaccine when it’s due.

With the second shot I had a lot of side effects. Now they’re starting to subside. Why the big difference between the first and second shots?

The reason is that the first dose primes your immune system, so the response to the second shot is higher.

Is the Johnson and Johnson vaccine considered a live vaccine that should be avoided by those with a weakened immune system?

While it is a virus, it’s not considered live because it’s been modified so it cannot make copies of itself and doesn’t cause any illness.

Questions about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge


About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.