US to Halt Use of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine

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By Ejiofor Alike

The United States’ federal health agencies yesterday recommended the suspension of the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, after six recipients of the vaccine – all women – developed a “severe type of blood clot.”

TheCable reported that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said they would stop using the vaccine at federal sites.

The agencies also asked states to suspend the use of the vaccine, pending the outcome of its investigation.

The agencies, in a joint statement, said they were “reviewing data involving six reported US cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the vaccine. Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare.

“Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered.

“CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday (today) to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates these cases.

“Until that process is complete, we are recommending this pause. 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 unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had on March 12 listed the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in all countries.

It is the third COVID-19 vaccine that has received FDA’s authorisation, and also the first single-dose COVID-19 vaccine available in the US.

About seven million people in the US were said to have received the vaccine.

Similar reports of blood clot development in recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccine made several European countries to suspend the use of the product in March.

However, they’ve resumed using the vaccine after European Union and British regulators said there was no link between the vaccine and the reported side effects.