U.S. CDC probes new death, hospitalization after J&J vaccine shots - officials

FILE PHOTO: Boxes of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are seen at the McKesson Corporation, in Shepherdsville

By Kanishka Singh

(Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating the death of an Oregon woman and the hospitalization of another in Texas after receiving Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, state health officials said.

The incidents come as advisers to the CDC are set to meet on Friday to consider whether it is safe to resume injections of the single-dose vaccine, while senior health officials prepare for a green light.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky had said on Monday the agency was reviewing reports of a handful of potential cases of severe side effects among people who received the shot, in addition to those that led to a pause in its use.

The CDC notified Oregon about the incident on Tuesday and Texas on Wednesday, the two states' health officials said.

The Oregon woman, who is in her 50s, received the vaccine before the pause order on its use was issued, the state's health authority said in a statement. (https://bit.ly/32GLvYQ)

She developed "a rare but serious blood clot within two weeks following vaccination," seen in combination with very low platelets, the Oregon Health Authority added.

It warned that blame could not be assigned until its investigation was complete.

Separately, a woman in Texas who received J&J's vaccine has been hospitalized for symptoms similar to those of six people who recently suffered blood clots after taking the shot in the United States, a Texas health agency spokesman said.

Last week, U.S. health agencies recommended a pause in the use of the vaccine after six rare cases of blood clots.

On Tuesday, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said it found a possible link between J&J's vaccine and rare blood clotting issues in adults who got doses in the United States, but added that the benefits of the shot outweighed the risks.