EMA to announce evaluation of Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine today
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EMA to announce evaluation of Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine today

Credit: Belga

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will announce its conclusion on the safety of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) coronavirus vaccine in relation to reported unusual cases of thrombosis.

This last week, PRAC (EMA’s safety committee) was reviewing the very rare cases of unusual blood clots that occurred in the US following the use of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, and it is expected to announce its decision during a press conference at 5:00 PM on Tuesday.

Until EMA announced its decision, the vaccine manufacturer asked countries not to use the dose, which led Belgium to pause the first vaccinations with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine last week, despite having just received the first batch of 36,000 doses of the vaccine.

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The same agency committee had previously been investigating the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine after similar reports of unusual blood clotting and announced on 7 April that the benefits outweighing its risks, but concluded that unusual blood clots combined with low platelet counts should be added as a “very rare side effect” of AstraZeneca’s vaccine.

This led many European countries to put an age restriction on the use of the vaccine, after which Belgium decided to temporarily suspend the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine for people younger than 56 until further information is given by EMA.

Unlike AstraZeneca, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has not yet been widely used in Europe, but it has received approval from EMA for use in the member states.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times