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Health Officials: 15 Blood Clot Cases Out of Nearly 8 Million J&J Vaccines

A White House official tells NPR that pharmaceutical giant Merck will help manufacture Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine.
The CDC and FDA recommended temporarily pausing use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on April 13 after six women experienced a rare blood clot out of nearly 7 million shots given.

State health officials say the CDC is investigating the death of an Oregon woman and hospitalization of another woman in Texas after they received the vaccine.

Health officials said Friday they were aware of 15 cases of the unusual clots related to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine since the government authorized its use and nearly 8 million shots were given.

All were women, most of them under 50. Three died, and seven remain hospitalized.

The confirmation comes after reports from state officials that the CDC is investigating the death of an Oregon woman and the hospitalization of another in Texas after they received the vaccine.

News of those investigations come as a CDC advisory group meets Friday to weigh lifting the pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. New guidance is expected late Friday after the panel deliberates a possible link between J&J’s shot and the unusual blood clots.

The CDC and FDA recommended temporarily pausing use of the J&J vaccine April 13 after six women experienced a blood clot.

This week, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the agency was reviewing a handful of possible cases with side effects among those who received the vaccination, in addition to the six cases that led to a pause.

Oregon health authorities say federal officials were investigating the death of a woman in her 50s who developed a blood clot and low platelets within two weeks of receiving the one-dose vaccine, the Associated Press reported.

The Oregon Health Authority learned of the probe Tuesday, two days after the CDC began investigating. The woman received the dose before the national pause.

In Texas, a woman who received the vaccine was hospitalized for symptoms similar to those of six reported last week.

The FDA and CDC informed the Texas Department of State Health Services of the situation Wednesday through the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, the AP reported.

The federal agencies said an adult woman had been hospitalized in Texas with “symptoms that appear to be consistent with those few other reported cases.” No other information was being released, citing patient privacy and confidentiality.

Earlier this week, experts at the agency that regulates drugs for the European Union said they found a “possible link” between the J&J vaccine and the blood clots reported in the U.S., but added that the vaccine’s benefits outweigh the small risks of recipients developing the clots.

Information from the Assoociated Press was used in this report.