CDC investigating Oregon woman’s death after J&J vaccine

Coronavirus Vaccine

PORTLAND, Ore. (NewsNation Now) — Oregon health officials said Thursday that federal officials are investigating the death of a woman in her 50s who developed a rare blood clot and low platelets within two weeks of receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine against COVID-19.

The Oregon Health Authority learned of the probe on Tuesday, two days after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began the investigation, the agency said. The woman, whose name was not released, received the dose before the CDC ordered a pause on the vaccine amid concerns it could cause dangerous clots.

The woman developed a “rare but serious blood clot in combination with very low platelets,” OHA said in a statement.

Health officials did not release any further details, including the date the woman got the vaccine or where in Oregon she lived.

Until the investigation is complete, it’s not certain that her death is related to the vaccine, the agency said.

Federal and state agencies paused the J&J vaccine rollout on April 13 due to concerns about blood clots.

Dr. Shimi Sharief, senior health advisor with the Oregon Health Authority, said the woman’s symptoms were consistent with other cases — severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath

“For most people that received the (J&J) vaccine, we are nearing the end of that time of where they need to be monitoring for symptoms,” Sharief said. The CDC warned that if people have symptoms within three weeks after receiving the vaccine they should contact their health care provider.

Sharief said that until the investigation is complete, it cannot be concluded whether her death is related to the vaccine.

Due to patient privacy laws, Sharief said the state won’t be releasing any more details about the woman, like what county she lived in.

Federal officials already were examining six reports of the unusual clots, including a death, out of more 8 million Americans given the one-dose vaccination so far. The CDC also told Texas health authorities Thursday that a woman in that state was hospitalized with possible blood clots associated with J&J vaccine recipients.

About 7.5 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine had been administered in the United States when the pause was recommended. The OHA says 87,000 doses were administered at locations throughout Oregon.

A government advisory committee on vaccines is expected to meet Friday and could make a recommendation soon after on whether and how to resume use of the J&J vaccine.

NewsNation affiliate KOIN and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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