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CDC probing death of Oregonian woman who received J&J COVID-19 vaccine

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine was shelved last week after a handful of cases of blood clotting possibly linked to the shot were reported. Photo by Szilard Koszticsak/EPA-EFE
The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine was shelved last week after a handful of cases of blood clotting possibly linked to the shot were reported. Photo by Szilard Koszticsak/EPA-EFE

April 22 (UPI) -- Health officials in Oregon announced Thursday that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating the death of a woman who developed blood cots after she was immunized with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

The Oregon Health Authority said in a statement it learned about the death Tuesday, two days after the CDC was notified about the case from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, which is the national database that collects reports of issues associated with vaccines.

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Oregon and federal authorities stopped administrating the one-shot vaccine April 13 after six women reported clotting issues. About 7.5 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in the United States, including more than 87,000 in Oregon, officials said.

Oregon health officials said the unnamed woman in her 50s died this week after receiving the Johnson & Johnson shot prior to the pause.

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"Until the investigation is complete, it cannot be concluded whether her death is related to the vaccine," the Oregon Health Authority said.

Dr. Shimi Sharief, the senior health advisor with the Oregon Health Authority, told reporters during a virtual media briefing that the date the woman died, her location and the region she was from would be withheld due to healthy privacy laws.

The announcement of the death was made ahead of a meeting of the CDC's advisory committee on immunization practices on Friday when the experts are expected to decide if the halt to the Johnson & Johnson jab should be lifted.

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"If the CDC does make a recommendation to resume distribution of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, we have the utmost confidence that it will be a decision made with thorough investigation and consideration of the potential benefits and risks in relationship to each other as we go through this pandemic," Sharief said.

Meanwhile, Texas health officials on Thursday announced that an adult woman has been hospitalized with symptoms similar to blood clotting that materialized following receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

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