CDC investigating Virginia woman’s death in connection to possible side-effects from Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Updated: Apr. 13, 2021 at 11:16 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention is looking into a Virginia woman’s death as part of its investigation into possible adverse side effects from the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the state’s vaccine coordinator, Dr. Danny Avula, the woman’s death happened in March and was reported to the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).

According to the VAERS website, the woman who died was 45 years old and died 12 days after receiving the shot.

The report said the woman was vaccinated on March 6, and one week later, she developed a gradually worsening headache.

On March 17, the woman went to the hospital for dry heaving, a sudden worsening of the headache and weakness on her left side.

A CAT scan showed that her brain was hemorrhaging and she was intubated for worsening mental status, the website said. She developed brain herniation, and brain death was pronounced on March 18, 2021.

On Tuesday, the CDC and FDA called for a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six women developed a rare condition involving blood clots after receiving the vaccine.

“This pause was recommended out of an abundance of caution, as these adverse events appear to be extremely rare. To date, more than 6.8 million people in the United States have received Johnson & Johnson vaccines and six recipients are known to have developed a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia),” Avula said in a release.

All six cases were among women ages 18 to 48, and symptoms started six to 13 days after vaccination.

“CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday, April 14, to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates these cases,” a release said.

Virginia has stopped using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until the investigation is complete. The state’s vaccine rollout will continue with Pfizer and Moderna.

Anyone who received the vaccine and develops a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should call their doctor or 911 if it is an emergency.

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