An Oregon woman in her 50s has become the first known person in the state to have died after receiving Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccine and suffering blood clots, the Oregon Health Authority reported Thursday.
The woman died after having been vaccinated at some point before federal officials called for a nationwide pause April 13 to give medical experts time to study half a dozen cases of other Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients who experienced life-threatening blood clots.
The health authority said the Oregon woman “developed a rare but serious blood clot within two weeks following vaccination.” Officials did not share which part of Oregon she was from or other details about her.
The health authority is investigating whether her death was directly caused by the vaccine or there is no link.
“Until the investigation is complete, it cannot be concluded whether her death is related to the vaccine,” the health authority said in a news release.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention learned Sunday of the woman’s death and officials at the Oregon Health Authority were notified Tuesday, according to state officials. Officials didn’t state her date of death.
The CDC is currently reviewing whether it’s safe to restart inoculations of the vaccine based on a small number of blood-clot cases that have emerged. Experts say the number of people who’ve experienced blood clots after Johnson & Johnson vaccinations is very small. At the time of the pause nine days ago, lose to 7.5 million doses had been administered nationwide and about 87,000 in Oregon.
“The case in Oregon will add to the evidence of potential risk associated with Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” read the health authority’s news release. “The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will review the data accumulated to date and weigh the risks and benefits of the vaccine.”
In the absence of Johnson & Johnson doses, Oregon health officials are administering an average of more than 30,000 Pfizer and the Moderna doses each day. Health experts urge residents to continue to get inoculated with the vaccines currently in use.
The health authority will hold a news conference at 4 p.m. to share more details about the Oregon woman’s case.
Check back on OregonLive.com for updates.
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— Aimee Green; [email protected]; @o_aimee