After finding 28 cases — including three deaths — among people who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine, officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Wednesday they see a “plausible causal link” between the vaccine and potentially life-threatening blood clot disorders.
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The new cases were discussed at a Wednesday meeting of CDC panel advisors by Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, deputy director of the CDC’s immunization protection office, according to The New York Times.
Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) was reported in 28 people who received the J&J injection, according to Shimabukuro’s presentation. The cases were based on data sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, or VAERS. TTS is characterized by blood clots and a poor platelet count.
As of May 7, four of the 28 people with TTS remained in the hospital, one of whom was in the ICU, according to Shimabukuro. Two patients were transferred to a post-acute care hospital, 19 patients were discharged, and three died.
According to Shimabukuro, current evidence “suggests a possible causal association” between the J&J vaccine and TTS events.
CVST (cerebral venous sinus thrombosis) is a type of TTS in which clots develop in the veins that drain blood from the brain, placing patients at risk of a stroke. According to Shimabukuro, the situation tends to be close to what has been found in Europe following the administration of AstraZeneca COVID shots.
According to the CDC, the majority of J&J cases in the United States were among women aged 18 to 49, with only six cases among men. According to the presentation, rates were especially high among women aged 30 to 39 and 40 to 49, with 12.4 and 9.4 cases per million, respectively.
The brain was compromised in 19 of the 28 TTS cases, with 10 of the patients suffering from a cerebral hemorrhage.