On Jan. 29, Dr. Bussel sent Ms. Legaspi’s physician, Dr. Niriksha Chandrani, an email labeled “my strong recommendations,” noting that he was “very afraid” Ms. Legaspi would have a brain hemorrhage, and advising a different course of treatment. Dr. Chandrani, the chief of oncology at Elmhurst, realized that Dr. Bussel was a leading authority on the platelet disorder, and she took his advice.
She had spent several sleepless nights worrying about Ms. Legaspi.
“I didn’t want her to die,” Dr. Chandrani said.
A day later, Ms. Legaspi’s platelet count had reached 6,000: “slow but steady progress,” Dr. Bussel said. The next morning, it was 40,000, which took her out of the highest danger zone. Two days later, on Feb. 1, it was 71,000.
It is impossible to tell whether the new treatments worked, if the initial ones kicked in or if she recovered on her own. But on Feb. 2, she went home from the hospital to the apartment in Queens that she shares with her daughter and 7-year-old grandson. On Feb. 4, her daughter said, Ms. Legaspi’s platelet count was 293,000.
Another vaccine recipient, Sarah C., 48, a teacher in Arlington, Tex., received the Moderna vaccine on Jan. 3. She asked that her full name not be used to protect her privacy.
Two weeks later, she began to have heavy vaginal bleeding. After two days she saw her obstetrician, who ordered blood work and scheduled other tests. A few hours later, he called and urged her to go straight to the emergency room. He was stunned and hoped it was a lab error, but her blood count showed zero platelets. She had had a checkup with completely normal blood-test results less than a week before being vaccinated.