State health officials say no link between blood clots and coronavirus vaccine authorized for teenagers

Health officials’ statement responds to news reports of Draper teen hospitalized some time after receiving vaccine

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) A vial of saline and the Pfizer COVID19 vaccine.

State health officials are reiterating that the only coronavirus vaccine authorized for children is not known to cause blood clots, after a Utah mom said her teenage son developed clots in his brain after being vaccinated.

ABC 4 reported this weekend that the teen was hospitalized with blood clots in his brain a little over a week after he was vaccinated.

But the teen’s mother said she didn’t know whether the vaccine caused the blood clots — and it is unlikely the boy, 17, received the vaccine that has been linked to blood clots.

The only vaccine approved for teenagers is the Pfizer vaccine, which has a different protective mechanism than the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Johnson & Johnson inoculations were put on hold for two weeks after cases of rare but dangerous blood clots in some patients who received the shot. The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined the benefits outweighed the risks for the vaccine and allowed it to be distributed again at the end of April.

By contrast, the Pfizer vaccine is, along with the Moderna vaccine, a two-shot mRNA vaccine, and has not been linked to blood clotting.

“To date, there is no evidence either of the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) cause the extremely rare blood clotting issues that have been confirmed with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” the Utah Department of Health wrote in a news statement Monday, adding:

“Generally speaking, there are many reasons children could develop blood clots. Without family permission we can’t speak to this specific case.”

The Draper teen was treated at Primary Children’s Hospital; a spokesman for Intermountain Healthcare, which operates the hospital, also said he could not comment on the teen’s specific case.