The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with state health authorities are investigating the death of an Oregon woman who had developed a rare, but serious blood clot in combination with low platelets within two weeks of receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
The woman, whose name was not revealed by the Oregon Health Authority, was in her 50s and had received the jab before the national rollout was paused. The CDC was notified of her death on April 18, and the state learned of it two days later.
The woman’s vaccination was one of more than 87,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered throughout the state.
“Until the investigation is complete, it cannot be concluded whether her death is related to the vaccine,” the Oregon Health Authority said in a news release posted Thursday.
The woman’s case is similar to six others that prompted the FDA and CDC to recommend the pause, but not all of those cases were fatal. Since the pause, which was initiated in part so that others may come forward to report adverse reactions, the CDC has received a “handful” potential cases, Dr. Rochelle Walensky said earlier this week.
Health officials said the case will be among those reviewed by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which is set to meet Friday to discuss potential changes or updates in guidance regarding the shot.
The ACIP meeting will be held days after European regulators concluded that while there is a potential link between the one-shot jab and rare blood clots, the benefits of the vaccine continue to outweigh the risks.
“The CDC and OHA will provide updates on any developments as they can be shared during the review and investigation process,” the news release said. “OHA continues to encourage all Oregonians to schedule an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccination when appointments become available.”