Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

J&J to resume rollout of COVID-19 vaccine in Europe

Wednesday, 21 April 2021 | 2:44 am | 101 times

J&J to resume rollout of COVID-19 vaccine in Europe

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) said on Tuesday it will resume rolling out its COVID-19 vaccine in Europe after the region’s medical regulator said the benefits of the shot outweigh the risk of very rare, potentially lethal blood clots.

Europe’s health regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), on Tuesday recommended adding a warning about rare blood clots with low blood platelet count to the vaccine’s product label and said the benefits of the one-dose shot outweigh its risks.

Use of the J&J vaccine was temporarily halted by U.S. regulators last week after rare brain blood clots combined with a low blood platelet count were reported in six women, prompting the company to delay its rollout in Europe.

Nearly 8 million people in the United States have received the J&J vaccine.

J&J said a new package label will include a warning on the risk of the rare side effect and instructions on how to recognize and treat it. The company said it would restart shipments to the European Union, Norway and Iceland, and is working on restarting clinical trials.

“It’s an extremely rare event. We hope by making people aware as well as putting clear diagnostic and therapeutic guidance in place that we can restore the confidence in our vaccine,” J&J Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels said during a conference call to discuss the company earnings.

The Netherlands said it would use the vaccine starting on Wednesday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are also reviewing the rare blood clots reported in people who got the shot. An advisory committee to is due to meet on Friday and may make a recommendation.

“The outcome of the vaccine review is important for overall global vaccination efforts, given J&J’s vaccine does not have the extreme cold storage requirements of the mRNA vaccines,” said Edward Jones analyst Ashtyn Evans, referring to vaccines from Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) and Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) with partner BioNTech SE .

The J&J vaccine can be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures and is expected to be used around the world.

Similar rare blood clot issues were reported with use of AstraZeneca’s (AZN.L) COVID-19 vaccine, which is also expected to be widely used globally.

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