Deployment of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine across Europe has been delayed, while US officials have recommended a “pause” in vaccine use, as reports of blood clots are investigated.
The health giant said on Tuesday it had “made the decision to proactively delay the deployment of our vaccine in Europe.”
It comes after officials from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said they were looking at six reported cases of “a rare and severe type of blood clot” in women aged 18 to 48.
Symptoms appeared six to 13 days after receiving the vaccine.
A total of 6.8 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s single injection vaccine have been administered in the United States.
The company said “no clear causal link” was found between their vaccine and the clots.
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“At this time, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare,” the FDA said in a statement on Twitter.
He said until the cases were assessed for their potential importance, “we recommend this break.”
“This is important to ensure that the healthcare provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan due to the one-time treatment required with this type of blood clot,” he added.
The European Union approved the Johnson & Johnson vaccine last month, with the company pledging to deliver at least 200 million doses to the block this year.
Of this total, 55 million doses were due between this month and the end of June.
American jab Johnson & Johnson review is coming following recent concerns on the link between the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots.
The UK has not approved the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but 30 million doses have been ordered.
In the United States, the federally-run distribution network – which includes mass vaccination sites – will suspend use of the vaccine.
Immunization efforts by states and other providers are expected to follow shortly.
Jeff Zients, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, said the hiatus “will not have a significant impact on our vaccination plan.”
He said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine represented “less than 5%” of the total number of vaccine doses administered in the United States and stressed that there was “more than enough supply” of Pfizer and Moderna alternatives. jabs to meet President Joe Biden’s goal of donating 200 million doses of vaccine on his 100th day in office.
“We are currently working with our state and federal partners to ensure that anyone scheduled for a J&J vaccine is promptly rescheduled for a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine,” Zients added.
People who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and experience severe headaches, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks have been advised to see a doctor.
“We are aware that thromboembolic events, including those with thrombocytopenia, have been reported with COVID-19 vaccines,” Johnson & Johnson said in a statement.
“At this time, no clear causal relationship has been established between these rare events and the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.”
A meeting of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will be held on Wednesday to review the cases.
The results of this review will be analyzed by the FDA as it investigates the situation.
Analysis: suspension ordered out of prudence
By Thomas Moore, scientific correspondent
Unusual blood clots with a second vaccine – and intriguingly, it uses the same ‘viral vector’ technology as the AstraZeneca vaccine.
It’s far too early to say there is a causal link to the Johnson & Johnson jab, but US regulators have recommended a pause in its deployment as a precaution.
Almost seven million people have received the vaccine – and there have been six cases of a “rare and severe” form of blood clot.
European regulators are also investigating cases.
Blood clots occur naturally, so the Food and Drug Administration will need to carefully review cases.
There is currently hypervigilance due to concern over the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in younger people.
Both vaccines use a different virus to carry the genetic material of the COVID spike protein into the body.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine – also known as Janssen – is not yet licensed in the UK, but 30 million doses are on order.