PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – The Oregon Health Authority has been informed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating the death of an Oregon woman this week following immunization with Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.
OHA was notified of the potential adverse event on April 20, two days after the CDC was notified on April 18. The Oregon resident, a woman in her 50s, received a dose of the J&J vaccine before the pause order on its use was issued.
Until the investigation is complete, it can’t be concluded whether her death is related to the vaccine.
OHA says she developed a rare but serious blood clot within two weeks following vaccination. This blood clot was seen in combination with very low platelets. Prior to the issuance of the pause, cases of this serious blood clot had been identified among six women around the country who received the vaccine.
One of those women died.
"The main symptoms across all the cases identified so far are headache, some people had abdominal pain, some people had back aches depending on the location of the clotting event, in addition to events like shortness of breath as well as leg pain in some individuals," OHA Senior Health Advisor Dr. Shimi Sharief said.
OHA would not disclose what county the Oregon woman was from, where she got her vaccine dose or the specific date of her death because of confidentiality concerns.
Dr. Sharief said the patients involved in all of the known blood clot cases around the country developed symptoms within two weeks of getting their Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
Out of the approximate 87,000 people in Oregon who have gotten a Johnson and Johnson dose, the OHA says this most recent case under investigation is the only one it is aware of statewide.
Alexis Ary, who told FOX 12 she got her Johnson and Johnson dose in Cascade Locks on April 11, said she is still experiencing some concerning symptoms.
"Every since I've had that shot, just my bones don't feel right- my muscles and my bones," Ary said.
Ary also said she's dealing with migraines, swollen and purple feet, and small purple dots and bruising all over her body.
"I'm hoping that I did the right thing not the wrong thing, because if I did the wrong thing that's definitely a mistake I won't be able to take back," Ary said.
She said she's trying not to think about the possibilities- albeit rare- for what she is experiencing.
"I don't want to manifest that, I have a young child- that's my only son, my only child, and I don't want him to lose his mom," Ary said.
Ary told FOX 12 she plans on seeing a doctor immediately.
Another Oregon Johnson and Johnson shot recipient, Krista Stone, said news of the local case was tough to swallow.
"It could happen anywhere but when you go, wow, this is in Oregon, did she go to the same one I went to?" Stone said.
Stone says she got her single-shot dose on April 9, and got nervous when the federal pause was ordered a few days later. She didn't experience any abnormal symptoms, she said, and she feels fine now, but Stone hopes the CDC advisors think carefully about the decision on the table Friday.
"To me, I would've stopped it because they clearly know it's women between the ages of 18 and 46 or something," Stone said, "find why, don't just put it on pause, re-evaluate and make it more effective."
The CDC and OHA will provide updates on any developments as they can be shared during the review and investigation process.
OHA continues to encourage all Oregonians to schedule an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccination when appointments become available.