Coronavirus

Risk of dying from COVID-19 40 times the risk of rare blood clot after receiving J&J vaccine

BUFFALO, WV - MARCH 26: A Premise Health healthcare worker loads a syringe with the Covid-19 Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine as part of a collaborative effort from the West Virginia National Guard, FamilyCare Health Centers and Toyota to vaccinate Toyota employees on March 26, 2021 in Buffalo, West Virginia. (Photo by Stephen Zenner/Getty Images)

(CNN) — The risk of dying from COVID-19 is 40 times the risk of developing a rare blood clotting condition after getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a CNN analysis shows.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday it has received reports of 28 people who have developed a rare blood clotting syndrome out of the 8.7 million given J&J’s Janssen coronavirus vaccine. Three of them have died from the condition, known as thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS).

However, in that same time period — March 2 to May 7 — more than 2.2 million people were diagnosed with COVID-19 and more than 43,000 died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

In a group of about 8.7 million people, that scales to nearly 59,000 new COVID-19 cases reported in the past two months and nearly 1,150 new COVID-19 deaths, more than 40 times the number of reported and confirmed cases of TTS.

The chances that a person vaccinated with the J&J vaccine will develop TTS are less than one in 300,000, according to CDC data.

But in the past two months, about one in every 7,600 Americans has died of COVID-19.

The CDC has said TTS is plausibly linked to J&J’s Janssen vaccine, but has said the benefits of the vaccine nonetheless outweigh the risk. All cases have been seen in people ages 18 to 59.

“Most of the these TTS cases are occurring in the 30-49 year-old age group,” CDC’s Dr. Tom Shimabukuro told a meeting of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

While most cases were among women, six cases were reported among men, Shimabukuro said. He said 19 had a type of brain blood clot called thrombosis of the cerebral venous sinus, or CVST, while others had different types of blood clots.

The CDC has alerted doctors and the patients about the possibility of the complication so it can be recognized and treated promptly and properly.

“There were no cases with a known or documented coagulation disorder,” Shimabukuro said. That indicates it’s difficult to predict who might develop the condition.

“It is important to recognize TTS early and initiate appropriate treatment,” he added. “TTS is a rare, clinically serious and life-threatening condition.”

TTS has also been linked to AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine, which is not authorized for use in the U.S. but which is in wide use in Britain and Europe.

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