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King County woman dies from rare Johnson & Johnson vaccine complication

Hands wearing medical gloves holds a syringe of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine.
Mary Altaffer
The Associated Press file
A registered nurse fills a syringe with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

Washington state health authorities say a woman in her late 30s has died from a rare blood-clotting syndrome after receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

Public Health Seattle & King County said Tuesday the woman was the fourth person in the United States to die due to blood clotting issues following the J&J vaccine.

Three deaths were reported before federal authorities temporarily halted J&J vaccinations in April. A spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the agency is aware of, and is looking into, additional reported clot deaths since then, including the one in Washington state.

The King County woman received her shot on Aug. 26. She died on Sept. 7.

Blood clots are a very rare complication associated with J&J’s vaccine.

According to King County authorities, 12.5 million doses of the J&J vaccine had been administered as of July 8, 2021, with 38 people having confirmed cases of the unusual type of blood clot. The majority of these people have recovered.

U.S. health officials have concluded the benefits of J&J's single-dose vaccine outweigh the rare risk of blood clots.

Administration of the vaccine was halted for 11 days in April over the clots. After the shots resumed, J&J vaccine recipients were warned of the symptoms to watch for and health care workers were given guidance on how to treat the clots.

“We send our deepest condolences to her family and loved ones,” Washington state Secretary of Health Dr. Umair A. Shah said in a statement about the woman’s death. “Losing a loved one at any time is a tragic and difficult … pain that’s become all too familiar in the last year and a half of this pandemic.”

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