The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched an investigation after an Oregon woman died within two weeks of receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The Oregon Health Authority cautioned that it is too early to assume a connection between the events until a full investigation is completed.
The woman in her 50s received a dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine before administration of the vaccine was paused nationwide to review cases of potential rare blood clots. The woman developed a serious blood clot and died within two weeks of receiving her shot.
“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.
The CDC alerted Oregon health officials to the case on Tuesday.
Dr. Shimi Sharief with 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’re aware of so far is only about seven cases in a total of 7.5 million vaccinated across the country.”
Because COVID-19 vaccines received emergency approval, health care providers have to report any serious health conditions or deaths to the CDC after a person receives a vaccine dose. Though only a few cases of the blood clots have been reported nationwide, around 7.5 million people have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, including 87,000 in Oregon.
While the cases are rare, health officials have paused use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until reviews take place to determine any potential risks versus its benefits.
Vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are still widely available in Oregon, and the state Health Authority recommends that all adults over 16 who are eligible for vaccination schedule an appointment.
Cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations have continued to rise in the state. On Wednesday and Thursday, the state reported just shy of 1,000 diagnosed cases per day. Oregon has not seen infection levels that high since January.
As of Thursday, 1,091,777 people in the state have finished their vaccine series, while another 1,658,130 have had at least one dose.