Another vaccine, same conclusions. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) gave its opinion on the Janssen vaccine from Johnson & Johnson against covid-19 on April 20. As for the AstraZeneca vaccine, the European regulator gave the green light for use in Europe, justifying that the benefit-risk balance of the Janssen vaccine remained largely positive.
“Very rare” side effect
The EMA recognized “a possible link“between the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and “very rare cases of unusual blood clots associated with low blood platelets“. She added that these blood clots should be listed as a side effect.”very rare“vaccine.
However, “based on currently available elements“, no specific risk factor could be confirmed, the agency said.
Overall, the resemblance to AstraZeneca is disturbing: “the cases examined were very similar to cases with the covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca“, underlined the EMA.
Eight cases of thrombosis out of seven million vaccinated
The eight cases of thrombosis recorded to date have occurred in the United States, out of seven million people vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson. They all concern people under the age of 60, the majority of whom are women, detailed the EMA.
Following the discovery of these cases, the American health authorities had put on hold the vaccinations by Johnson & Johnson on April 13, the time to conduct an investigation.
But its use, accompanied by possible “restrictions“, should be authorized again by the end of the week,” White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci said on April 18.
An “essential” vaccine in France
The EMA’s decision was eagerly awaited by several European countries, including France, which are counting on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to speed up their vaccination campaign. Especially since this vaccine has the advantage of requiring only one dose, unlike the three other vaccines authorized in Europe (Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca), which require two.
In France, AstraZeneca and Janssen’s anti-covid vaccines are “indispensable“to achieve the goals of the vaccination campaign, the Ministry of Health said earlier today.
On April 14, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said 200,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine had already arrived in the territory. The vaccine will be “administered under the same conditions“than expected, namely to all people over 55 years of age.