Johnson & Johnson delays vaccine rollout in Europe, nothing said about Africa

Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday announced that it has made the decision to delay the rollout of its vaccine in Europe after federal regulators in the United States recommended a pause in the administration of the one-dose vaccine.

“We have been reviewing these cases with European health authorities. We have made the decision to proactively delay the rollout of our vaccine in Europe,” the company said in a statement just hours after American health officials said they were investigating cases of blood clots in the U.S.

The U.S. pause was announced after six recipients developed a rare but severe disorder involving blood clots, with one woman dying and another in a critical condition in the hospital. The disorder was noticed within about two weeks of vaccination, according to American federal officials.

“The safety and well-being of the people who use our products is our number one priority. We are aware of an extremely rare disorder involving people with blood clots in combination with low platelets in a small number of individuals who have received our COVID-19 vaccine. The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases out of more than 6.8 million doses administered. Out of an abundance of caution, the CDC and FDA have recommended a pause in the use of our vaccine,” Johnson & Johnson said. “We have been working closely with medical experts and health authorities, and we strongly support the open communication of this information to healthcare professionals and the public.”

The company added that “the CDC and FDA have made information available about proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot. The health authorities advise that people who have received our COVID-19 vaccine and develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.”

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is part of the COVAX facility being rolled out around the world, including in Africa. Johnson & Johnson did not address its decision on the vaccine rollout in Africa.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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