Johnson & Johnson rare blood clot concerns deal new blow to global vaccination drive

On Tuesday, Johnson & Johnson mentioned it could droop photographs throughout the United States whereas federal well being companies investigated a small variety of rare blood clot instances, a transfer that some consultants concern will erode vaccine confidence.

Outside of the US, Johnson & Johnson mentioned it could delay the rollout of its vaccine in Europe, the place a number of international locations have been due to start administering photographs this week. South Africa, which has been hit onerous by a extra contagious variant of the virus, has halted use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as a precautionary measure. Australia mentioned it is not going to buy any doses from the corporate, citing concerns over it being the identical sort because the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The clotting concerns concerning the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine intently mirror these over the AstraZeneca shot, which additionally makes use of adenovirus vector expertise to stimulate an immune response. It will not be recognized whether or not that expertise causes clotting.

Last month, drug regulators in Europe, the United Kingdom and Australia started inspecting the AstraZeneca vaccine after some recipients developed uncommon blood clots with low platelet counts, comparable to these of the Johnson & Johnson recipients.

On April 7, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) concluded that there was a doable hyperlink between the AstraZeneca Covid-19 shot and rare blood clots, however stopped wanting recommending its use be restricted. The advantages of the shot outweigh the dangers and Covid-19 is a “very serious disease,” it added.

UK regulators took a extra cautious strategy, saying wholesome adults beneath 30 needs to be supplied different vaccines. Officials described the transfer as a “course correction” that may not derail the nation’s fast inoculation program.

Australia, in the meantime, issued a blood clot warning on the AstraZeneca vaccine for folks beneath 50.

AstraZeneca has not but been licensed for emergency use within the US.

EU agency finds AstraZeneca vaccine can cause rare blood clots, as UK advises other shots for under-30sEU agency finds AstraZeneca vaccine can cause rare blood clots, as UK advises other shots for under-30s

The Johnson & Johnson delay marks yet one more main setback for Europe’s vaccination efforts, which have been dogged by provide chain shortages, logistical points and concerns over the AstraZeneca vaccine. Despite the EMA steering, some European international locations have restricted AstraZeneca’s use for youthful folks, whereas different nations, together with Norway and Denmark, have suspended the shot.

The EU’s Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides mentioned on Twitter Tuesday that the EMA was monitoring developments with the vaccine and was involved with the US Food and Drug Administration. An EU official told Reuters that the European Commission is searching for “urgent clarification” from Johnson & Johnson over the corporate’s “unexpected” delays to deployment throughout Europe.

The EU ordered 200 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in 2021, and licensed its use on March 11. The UK has ordered 30 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, however has not but licensed its use.

Revelations that each the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines could have rare negative effects may even have huge implications for low- and middle-income international locations.

South Africa pauses AstraZeneca vaccine rollout after study shows it offers less protection against variantSouth Africa pauses AstraZeneca vaccine rollout after study shows it offers less protection against variant
Those two vaccines — that are cheaper and simpler to retailer and transport than mRNA-based vaccines Pfizer and Moderna — are seen as essential to immunizing growing nations. Both have pledged to promote lots of of tens of millions of doses by the COVAX initiative, a vaccine-sharing scheme affiliated with the World Health Organization.
The Johnson & Johnson information is especially painful for South Africa, which had pivoted to the vaccine after preliminary trial knowledge confirmed that AstraZeneca supplied minimal safety towards gentle to average sickness attributable to the nation’s dominant variant of the coronavirus.

In February, South Africa’s well being minister introduced the nation had secured 9 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and would supply its inventory of 1 million AstraZeneca doses to the African Union.

Last week, the African Union’s disease control body introduced that it was dropping plans to safe AstraZeneca vaccines, citing global shortfalls, and mentioned that it could focus as an alternative on shoring up doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.


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