The US, South Africa and European Union will temporarily stop the rollout of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Covid jab, after reports of rare blood clotting. Johnson & Johnson has paused its EU rollout, which started this week. It follows similar cases after doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which prompted curbs to its use.
Six cases were detected in more than 6.8 million doses of the vaccine, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said and were investigating clots in six women that occurred in the days after vaccination. The clots were observed along with reduced platelet counts, making the usual treatment for blood clots, the blood thinner heparin, potentially ‘dangerous’. The FDA said it was recommending the temporary pause “out of an abundance of caution”. It confirmed that one patient died from blood clotting complications, and another is in a critical condition. All six cases were in women aged between 18 and 48, with symptoms appearing six to 13 days after vaccination. Following the advice, all federal sites in the US have stopped using the vaccine until further investigations into its safety are completed.
State and private contractors are expected to follow suit. More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S., the vast majority with no or mild side effects.