Four days after getting his shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Richard Terrell, 76, from Goochland County, Virginia started feeling bodily discomfort.
"I began to feel a little discomfort in my armpit and then a few days later I began to get an itchy rash, and then after that I began to swell and my skin turned red," he told WRIC-TV.
He said he received the vaccine jab on March 6 in Ashland and all looked fine. Four days later, the symptoms started showing. Seeing that it's not getting any better but worse as days passed, Terrell decided to consult a dermatologist. He ended up getting admitted at the emergency room because his skin rashes did not look good.
8News reported that "his legs and hands were almost unrecognizable from swelling and his skin was red and patchy."
Dr. FNU Nutan , the Dermatology Hospitalist at VCU Health, confirmed from a biopsy that Terrell's condition was a drug reaction and that it could have been life-threatening if left untreated.
"Skin is the largest organ in the body, and when it gets inflamed like his was, you can lose a lot of fluids and electrolytes," she said.
Terrell described the pain as "stinging, burning and itching."
"Whenever I bent my arms or legs, like the inside of my knee, it was very painful where the skin was swollen and was rubbing against itself," he added.
Dr. Nutan, as well as her colleagues around the world, determined during their consultation that it's the vaccine that has triggered the adverse reaction in Terrell. They explained that the patient's genetic make-up and the vaccine type were contributing factors.
"We ruled out all the viral infections, we ruled out COVID-19 itself, we made sure that his kidneys and liver was okay, and finally we came to the conclusion that it was the vaccine that he had received that was the cause," said Dr. Nutan.
Explaining further that Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA's while Johnson & Johnson is a vector viral, Dr. Nutan still affirms the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.
"If you look at the risk for adverse reaction for the vaccine it's really, really low. We haven't seen a great concern at all. I am a big proponent of the vaccine," she said.
After Terrell's story reached the news, a commentary in The Western Journal suggested that this case should be taken in consideration over the plan of implementing "vaccine passports."
An earlier report indicated that the Biden administration, in partnership with certain companies, is developing a "vaccine passport" that will serve as a person's proof that he has been vaccinated against COVID-19.
This credential determines who gets to enter certain facilities and locations, and thereby enjoy living life normally. Those who don't get inoculated against COVID-19 won't get this "passport" - implying that those who reject the vaccine will not be allowed access to some things like restaurants and stores.
"The whole idea of a free society is that citizens can make risk assessments for themselves and act accordingly. If Americans decide that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks, they should get it. If not, they should be free to reject it," commented the Journal contributor.
On Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki tried told reporters that there would be "no federal mandate requiring every American to obtain a vaccination credential."
"Federal mandate or not, encouraging businesses to determine whether or not their employees and/or customers have been vaccinated is a clear overreach," said the Journal, adding that "while Terrell's reaction is a rare one, it demonstrates that there are still risks to getting the COVID-19 vaccine."