Mother of 2 dies from blood clots after getting COVID-19 vaccine
SEATTLE (KING) - A woman in Washington state died from a rare blood clotting syndrome after getting the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Health officials say this is the first death of its kind in the state.
Jessica Berg Wilson, a 37-year-old mother of two, died Sept. 7 from what her obituary says was “COVID-19 vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia.” It is a rare condition causing blood clots, seen in those who received the J&J vaccine.
Only three other deaths from the condition have been confirmed nationally.
Wilson’s obituary says that “during the last weeks of her life… the world turned dark with heavy-handed vaccine mandates.” She had been opposed to getting the vaccine but did so in order to become a room mom for her two young kids.
“In her mind, the known and unknown risks of the unproven vaccine were more of a threat. But, slowly, day by day, her freedom to choose was stripped away,” the obituary said.
Wilson’s case has prompted not only an outpouring of sympathy but also attacks on vaccine mandates, with one Facebook user calling them “unconstitutional, immoral and just plain wrong.”
Without citing Wilson by name, King County Public Health says a woman of that age got her vaccination Aug. 26.
The J&J vaccine has a known connection to fatal blood clots in women, leading the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to place a “pause” on it in the spring to investigate. The agency eventually determined that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks of catching COVID-19.
As of July 8, only 38 of the 12.5 million people who received the J&J vaccine reported having these complications, and most of them recovered.
Dr. Chris Spitters, the health officer for Snohomish County, says the chances of contracting blood clots from the J&J vaccine are rarer than severe complications from vaccines for other diseases that we readily accept.
“Even the best medical interventions carry some risks,” Spitters said. “Despite this sad event and a handful of other ones like it, we have to forge on as a society and take the route that carries the most benefit, the best benefit to risk ratio.”
Johnson & Johnson says the safety and well-being of every person who receives one of its products remains its top priority. It says any adverse event report about people getting the vaccine and its own assessment of the report is shared with health authorities globally.
The company strongly supports awareness of the signs and symptoms of the rare events, as described in the Federal Drug Administration’s fact sheet for the vaccine, to make sure they can be quickly identified and treated effectively.
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