Janssen Covid vaccine arrives in NL next week amid new blood clot study
Pharmaceutical company Janssen, a subsidiary of the US multinational Johnson & Johnson, will deliver its first doses of the coronavirus vaccine to the Netherlands on Monday. It concerns a total of 79,200 doses, the Dutch public health agency RIVM announced on Friday. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has announced that it will investigate the drug produced in Leiden after reports of blood clots and platelet deficiency in people recently vaccinated with the Janssen vaccine, one of whom died.
It is not yet known when the vaccine will be administered for the first time. The Netherlands has ordered a total of 11.3 million doses of the vaccine that only needs to be given once.
The Health Council recommends that the Janssen vaccine is first given to people over 60 and medical risk groups. This concerns, for example, people with Down's syndrome, with morbid obesity, or with neurological disorders that can lead to breathing problems.
Once those groups have been vaccinated, the vaccine can be given to other groups as well. The Health Council will issue an advice on this later. The Dutch vaccine offers 66 percent protection against disease and 85 percent protection against more severe forms of COVID-19.
Reports of side effects
EMA has received a total of four reports of blood clots and platelet deficiency in people recently vaccinated with the Janssen vaccine. It is now being investigated whether this can also be a side effect of the vaccine. Worldwide, at least 4.5 million people have been vaccinated with the Janssen vaccine to date.
This news comes after the caretaker cabinet decided on Thursday to no longer administer the AstraZeneca vaccine to people aged up to 60 years for the time being, due to a rare side effect: a combination of blood clots (thrombosis) and a small number of platelets (thrombocytopenia).
'No clear causal relationship at the moment'
Janssen said on Friday that there is "currently no clear causal link" between the company's vaccine and the complaints reported to the EMA after vaccination.
"We share all reports of adverse events in individuals receiving our COVID-19 vaccine, along with our assessment of these reports, with health authorities in accordance with the regulations," said the pharmaceutical company.
"Our close monitoring of adverse events has revealed a small number of very rare post-vaccination events," the company reports. It continues to "work closely with experts and registration authorities to review the data". It also aims to ensure that "in the case of a very rare disease, appropriate measures can be taken for rapid diagnosis and treatment
Janssen will be the fourth corona vaccine that will be available in the Netherlands. Previously, the vaccines from Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca have been approved, supplied, and given.."