US to pause use of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine "out of an abundance of caution" 3 weeks ago

US to pause use of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine "out of an abundance of caution"

“Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare.”

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration have recommended the United States pause the use of Johnson & Johnson's one-shot Covid-19 vaccine following six reported cases of a "rare and severe" type of blood clot.

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The New York Times reports that all six recipients were women between the ages of 18 and 48 and the incidents occurred within two weeks of the vaccination.

One woman died and a second woman in Nebraska has been hospitalised in critical condition.

The six cases were among more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered in the US.

“We are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution,” Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, and Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the C.D.C., said in a joint statement.

“Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare.”

While the CDC and the FDA only issued a recommendation, it's expected the federal government will pause administration of the vaccine at all federally run vaccination sites.

Deliveries of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine to European Union member states began this week, with the 27-nation EU having an order for 200 million doses and an option for 200 million more.

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Ireland’s population entitles it to roughly 605,000 doses of the overall EU total by the end of June and around 2.2 million doses in total.

It received approval from the European Medicines Agency after clinical trials involving volunteers in the United States, South Africa and South American countries found the jab was 67% effective in preventing Covid-19 and 100% effective in preventing hospitalisation and deaths from Covid-19.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is easier to store than the mRNA vaccines and is just a single injection, rather than two doses.