CLARK COUNTY, Las Vegas — Family and friends say an 18-year-old from Nevada became seriously ill with seizures and clotting in the brain following a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
Since April 1, Emma Burkey has undergone at least three brain surgeries.
“If you follow the national news, the J & J vaccine has been put on hold because of these rare cases,” according to a GoFundMe set up to help her family. “Unfortunately, Emma is the ‘one in a million’ here.”
Last week, federal health officials recommended a pause in the vaccine after detecting six rare blood clot cases among nearly 7 million people who had been vaccinated. The clots were found in six women between the ages of 18 and 48. One person died.
**Read the full statement released by Johnson & Johnson at the bottom of this story**
According to the GoFundMe set up for Emma, after the vaccine, she was put into an induced coma and was ventilated along with the surgeries, which were done to repair blood clots.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that in recent days, Emma has been taken out of the coma and is off a respirator.
Bret Johnson, family spokesperson and the individual who organized the GoFundMe account, told the paper that Emma’s parents are “cautiously optimistic” despite her “massive brain injury.”
The GoFundMe account has raised over $14,000.
Here is the statement released by Johnson and Johnson regarding its vaccine:
The safety and well-being of the people who use our products is our number one priority. We are aware of an extremely rare disorder involving people with blood clots in combination with low platelets in a small number of individuals who have received our COVID-19 vaccine. The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases out of more than 6.8 million doses administered. Out of an abundance of caution, the CDC and FDA have recommended a pause in the use of our vaccine.
In addition, we have been reviewing these cases with European health authorities. We have made the decision to proactively delay the rollout of our vaccine in Europe and pause vaccinations in all Janssen COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials while we update guidance for investigators and participants.
We have been working closely with medical experts and health authorities, and we strongly support the open communication of this information to healthcare professionals and the public.
The CDC and FDA have made information available about proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot. The health authorities advise that people who have received our COVID-19 vaccine and develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.