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More Bad News for J&J Vax

CDC is now aware of 28 cases, three of which were fatal
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2021 2:29 AM CDT

(Newser) – The number of people who've experienced a rare blood clotting disorder after receiving the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine is now up to 28, the CDC announced Wednesday. Previously, 15 cases had been confirmed, all of them in women. The new cases include six men, the New York Times reports. (A single case from the J&J clinical trial was also male, and not included in the previous numbers.) Of the 28, three died, and four are still hospitalized, one of whom is in the ICU. All three deaths had already been documented at the CDC's meeting last month. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which use different technology, have not been linked to any cases of the disorder. A CNN analysis finds that the risk of dying from COVID-19 is still 40 times greater than the risk of developing the blood clot disorder.

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All the cases are in people ages 18 to 59 who received the vaccine before federal health authorities paused the vaccine for 10 days to review the risks. Women between the ages of 30 and 49 are most at risk, officials say, though they stress that the overall risk is still quite low. More than 9 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in the US. The disorder, thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, involves patients developing blood clots (often in the brain) and low levels of platelets, which are parts of blood that help it to clot in order to stop bleeding. Of the 28 people affected, 12 had obesity, seven had high blood pressure, three had diabetes, and three were taking estrogen. (The move comes as Canada's largest province halted AstraZeneca shots for the same reason.)

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