On Wednesday, April 14, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it had learned of a seventh woman who developed a severe blood clot after being inoculated with the vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson.
The seventh possible patient was identified as a 28-year-old woman. This case did not involve a brain hemorrhage, as some of the other cases did. No other details about her have been made public, such as what kind of blood clotting issue she has or the severity of her condition. (Related: New Jersey man in critical condition with coronavirus less than a month after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.)
The revelation of the seventh blood clotting case comes as the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) debates whether or not the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should be used by the public or discontinued. The ACIP also met to discuss whether it could make an interim age or risk-factor based recommendation regarding the shot.
In the end, the committee came to the conclusion that it needed more information, and it felt it was inappropriate to release a definitive statement regarding the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Rather than hold a vote on any decision, the ACIP moved to extend the Food and Drug Administration’s and the CDC’s recommended pause on the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine rollout. As of press time, the committee has not provided any details for when the next meeting will be and if it will have enough information by then to make a decision.
If the statements of individual members of the committee are anything to go by, it’s possible that the CDC will end up allowing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to continue.
“We do need to better understand the risk, which we know is going to be very rare, very low, but we really don’t know exactly how low,” said Dr. Beth Bell, a member of ACIP and a clinical professor of global health at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Several other members of the committee have expressed their concern regarding the delay in making a decision, amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases being reported.
Six other women experienced blood clots following Johnson & Johnson vaccination, at least one dead
Prior to the CDC’s revelation, it had known about six other women who developed severe blood clots. Little is known about them, as the CDC has not released a lot of information.
Of the six other cases, all are White women between the ages of 18 and 48, with a median age of 33. Three women remain hospitalized, with two of those in intensive care.
In Virginia, a 45-year-old woman who got vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson in March was hospitalized 11 days later with serious adverse symptoms. She passed away on March 18.
A 59-year-old with no known history of coronary artery disease presented to the hospital seven days after receiving her shot with extensive deep venous thrombosis, or a blood clot in the vein, usually the leg. She has not recovered.
In Nebraska, a 48-year-old with a medical history that health authorities claim to be “unremarkable” was taken to the emergency room three days after getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. She had been feeling general discomfort and abdominal pain ever since she got vaccinated. She remains in critical care.
A 38-year-old presented to the hospital with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), or a blood clot that forms in the outer layers of the brain. She has not recovered.
A 26-year-old with obesity from the Pennsylvania-New Jersey area was hospitalized seven days after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine presenting with some kind of blood clot. She has since been discharged.
In Nevada, an 18-year-old with unknown history was taken to the hospital with CVST with hemorrhage two weeks after receiving the vaccine. She has not recovered.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Johnson & Johnson said the company strongly supported campaigns to raise awareness regarding the potential side effects of its vaccine, but it continued to believe “in the positive benefit-risk profile of our vaccine.”
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