Coroner: No direct link between COVID-19 vaccine and Cincinnati student’s death


CINCINNATI (WJW)– There is no direct link between the death of a University of Cincinnati student and the COVID-19 vaccine, Hamilton County Coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco said on Friday.

John Francis Foley, 21, of Columbus, died Sunday evening after emergency crews responded to his off-campus home. Foley received the Johnson and Johnson one-shot vaccine.

“We don’t see a direct connection between the vaccine administration the day before,” Sammarco said. “We are investigating to see if there is an indirect connection.”

The investigation is in the early stages and the coroner’s office is looking at other causes of death. It’s also questioning those who were with Foley at the time. Sammarco said there was no evidence of abnormal clotting or pulmonary embolism. Foley was tested for COVID-19.

An attorney for the Foley family released a statement Thursday afternoon.

“Our beloved son John Francis Foley is gone, and our family mourns the loss of this wonderful and sweet joy of our lives. While the facts remain unclear how he died, we are rejoicing in how he lived: caring for others, lit with God’s grace, and generous to all.”

Sammarco noted most people experience a low fever and body aches after the vaccine. She comes from a family of physicians and said everyone in her family that is eligible has received a COVID-19 vaccination.

Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration recommended a pause of the Johnson and Johnson shot because of a rare type of blood clot. Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis was reported in six women. They experienced symptoms six to 13 days after the receiving the vaccine.

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