Former health commissioner says she had blood clot in 2021 that was reported to VAERS

"I’m not saying it was the vaccine, but it fit the criteria for what should be reported. My doc reported it," Malcolm said.

Former Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm receives a booster shot in October 2021. (Office of Gov. Tim Walz/Flickr)

Former Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Commissioner Jan Malcolm may have experienced an adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine, she revealed during an online event in October.

“I personally had a, you know, my doc reported I had a blood clot,” Malcolm said in response to a question regarding adverse reactions to the COVID vaccine. “I’m not saying it was the vaccine, but it fit the criteria for what should be reported. My doc reported it.”

Malcolm’s comments came during the Saint Paul and Minnesota Foundation’s Oct. 31 “Insider Briefing” webinar, a recording of which Alpha News recently obtained.

During the event, Malcolm explained that her physician reported her blood clot to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) in the summer of 2021, when she was still serving as commissioner of the Department of Health in Gov. Tim Walz’s administration.

“I just got a call about a month ago from somebody following up on it,” she said. “I was both glad someone was following up and appalled that it was so long.” She encouraged anyone who experiences an adverse reaction to the vaccine to report it to VAERS.

Even after her own blood clot, Malcolm continued to tell Minnesotans, including children, to get COVID vaccines and boosters.

“The arrival of vaccines truly was like a ray of sunshine,” Malcolm said in a December 2021 video published on the Children’s Hospital of Minnesota website. The video was made to celebrate the 8.3 million doses of COVID vaccines that were administered during the first year of their availability in Minnesota.

In a December 2021 press release as part of the state’s “Celebrate Safely” campaign, Malcolm encouraged people to get their boosters.

“We want to thank all of the providers and partners who have helped us efficiently and equitably make sure Minnesotans can get their COVID-19 vaccine — we would not be able to do this without you,” Malcolm said. “We also recognize that this pandemic is not over. Today our partners reminded us of how critical it is for people to get vaccinated, get boosted, and use other known prevention strategies to slow the spread and prevent further hospitalizations and deaths from this virus.”

Kristie Estes, a Minnesota woman who was injured by the COVID vaccine, told Alpha News that in her view, MDH was “indifferent” to recognizing those who were adversely affected by the vaccine.

“A suggestion to file a VAERS report was typically offered but little else. It is interesting that our now-retired State Health Commissioner waited two years before hearing back about the VAERS report filed on her behalf and still has confidence in this problematic reporting system to still recommend it,” Estes said.

Another woman injured by the vaccine told Alpha News that she appreciates Malcolm’s openness. “It took two-and-a-half years for VAERS to contact me and they only did when on a whim I reached out to them again a couple weeks ago,” said Becky Kraker.

Kraker has now been diagnosed with hormonal breast cancer. “It was confirmed by my breast surgeon that she has seen many of the same cases,” Kraker said. She hopes Malcolm’s comments will help people who were injured by vaccines get the help they need.

According to the OpenVAERS project, which draws off of HHS data, more than 21,000 Minnesotans have reported adverse events related to the COVID vaccine. 524 people have died as of December 2023.


Hayley Feland

Hayley Feland previously worked as a journalist with The Minnesota Sun, The Wisconsin Daily Star, and The College Fix. She is a Minnesota native with a passion for politics and journalism.