Roll-out of Janssen vaccine in Europe postponed due to possible blood clots

This is because in the US there have been six cases of a serious complication, cerebral sinus vein thrombosis (CVST) in combination with a low platelet count (thrombocytopenia). This complication was diagnosed in six women between the ages of 18 and 48 within two weeks of administering the Janssen prick. One woman died, another is in hospital in a critical condition, reports The New York Times.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) already stopped using the Janssen vaccine at federal injection sites on Tuesday. Individual states were also advised to stop pending further investigation. That should reveal whether there is a relationship between the vaccine and the complications that have occurred. Scientists from both health authorities would meet on Wednesday for an emergency meeting.

Seven million

The Janssen vaccine developed in Leiden has been administered to nearly seven million people in the US. Unlike other vaccines, the injection offers enough protection against the corona virus with just one vaccination.

“The safety and wellbeing of the people who use our products is our number one priority,” Johnson & Johnson said in a statement. ‘We are aware of an extremely rare blood clot condition in combination with a low platelet count in a number of people who received our corona vaccine. We have made the decision to proactively postpone the roll-out of the vaccine in Europe. ‘

Too early for conclusions

Earlier Tuesday afternoon, the MEB stated that it is ‘too early to draw conclusions’. “The monitoring committee Prac of the European medicines agency EMA is currently investigating blood clotting problems and Janssen’s corona vaccine,” the Dutch medicines authority said in a statement. ‘The EMA and the MEB are monitoring the situation very closely (including the reports from the FDA). If there is reason to take action, such as adjusting the product information and package leaflet, we will inform the relevant authorities, consumers and healthcare providers. ‘

The complication of cerebral sinus venous thrombosis, a rare form of cerebral haemorrhage, in combination with a low platelet count has also been revealed in Europe in people receiving AstraZeneca vaccine. The European medicine agency EMA stated last week that the thrombosis complication, which occurred in the abdomen in addition to the brains of some vaccinees, is probably a very rare side effect of the AstraZenecaprik. Because the complication appeared to appear relatively more often in young people than in the elderly, the Netherlands, among others, decided to no longer administer AstraZeneca to under 60s.

A possible cause for the complication with the AstraZeneca vaccine is a rare immune reaction, the EMA said last week. American government officials think of the same cause with the Janssen vaccine, writes The New York Times.

Same technique

The Janssen vaccine, like the AstraZeneca injection, uses the viral vector technique. In addition, a weakened chimpanzee virus containing a piece of genetic information from the corona virus is sent into the body.

The Netherlands received the first doses of the Janssen vaccine on Monday. At least 35,000 doses would go to hospitals, where they would be used to vaccinate staff. In total, our country has ordered 11.3 million doses of the vaccine. Three million of those would arrive this quarter.

Incidentally, the temporary stop in the US does not mean that all people who would receive the Janssen vaccine now have to wait longer. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo writes on Twitter that people who have an injection appointment at a location run by his state will be offered the Pfizer vaccine as a replacement.
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