An Oregon woman in her 50s died after developing a rare blood clot just two weeks after receiving Johnson & Johnson's one-dose COVID-19 vaccine, the Oregon Health Authority said on Thursday.
She is the 10th person publicly confirmed to have developed blood clot after receiving the J&J vaccine. However, it is still not confirmed whether her death is linked to the vaccine or if there's no connection.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched an investigation and the Oregon Health Authority has cautioned that it is too early to assume a connection between the events until a full investigation is completed.
Death from Vaccine?
Oregon health officials said that the woman in her 50s received the vaccine more than two weeks ago or before the national pause was called on its administration last Friday. The woman was doing fine but suddenly developed the reaction, which was reported to the CDC on Sunday.
"This blood clot was seen in combination with very low platelets. Prior to the issuance of the pause, cases of this serious blood clot had been identified among six women around the country who received the vaccine," the Oregon Health Authority wrote in a statement Thursday.
Dr Shimi Sharief of the Oregon Health Authority said the woman developed a rare blood clot within two weeks of being inoculated, "This is still extremely rare. So, even the case count that we are aware of so far is only about seven cases in a total of 7.5 million vaccinated across the country."
Although the Oregon health officials said the other six women also developed "this blood clot," they did not specify whether it affected her brain (a condition known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, or CVST).
The CDC has launched an investigation into the death of the Oregon woman but said that it is too early to state that her death is linked to the J&J vaccine. Six other women, all between 18 and 50, developed the brain rare clots in combination with low platelet counts during the rollout of J&J's vaccine.
A sixth woman under 60 and a young man aged 45 also developed the condition while taking part in the vaccine's trials. The Oregon woman's death comes as federal officials investigate reports of rare blood clots among people who had been inoculated with that J&J vaccine. Presently, the J&J vaccine has been paused nationwide, with CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) scheduled to meet on Friday to debate whether to recommend and resume the one-shot J&J COVID vaccine.
That said, with 10 cases of dangerous blood clots and low platelet counts now reported among nearly eight million being inoculated with the J&J jab, the rate is now slightly above one in a million. However, it is but still exceedingly low.
On the other hand, five experts on the panel of 15 that will vote on whether to resume the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine on Friday spoke with Business Insider.All five want Johnson & Johnson's one-dose shot to still be used in the United States.
One committee member, Dr Wilbur Chen, a professor at the University of Maryland, told the outlet that he hoped that now that more people are aware of the potential but extremely rare blood clots in brain and cases would be more quickly identified and treated.
Another member told the outlet that the committee hadn't seen additional data beyond the nine reports (six women under 50 outside the trial, one woman under 50 in the trial and one young man in the trial) identified as of last week.