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The Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine is one of three Covid vaccines approved and rolled out in the US in recent months. The vaccine consists of one shot, making it different from many of the other Covid vaccines being used globally. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine has not yet been approved for rollout in the UK, but the UK Government has secured 30 million doses of the vaccine to date.
In clinical trials, the vaccine was found to be 66.3 percent effective in preventing lab-confirmed COVID-19 illness.
The vaccine has also shown to have high efficacy at preventing hospitalisation and death in people who got sick.
However, this week the rollout of the J&J vaccine suffered a setback.
The US federal health agencies recommended the use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine be paused after six vaccine recipients developed a rare disorder involving blood clots.
The pause in the J&J rollout is expected to last a “matter of days”, according to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials.
The FDA said six cases in 6.8 million doses have been reported and that it was acting “out of an abundance of caution”.
The individuals were all women aged between 18 and 48.
The recipients developed symptoms six to 13 days after receiving the vaccination.
Experts have emphasised the benefits of Covid vaccination outweigh the risks for the “vast majority of people”.
Eleanor Riley, professor of immunology and infectious disease at the University of Edinburgh, said: “Whilst a causal link between COVID-19 vaccination, platelet abnormalities and blood clots has not, so far, been confirmed, the index of suspicion is rising that these rare cases may be triggered by the adenovirus component of the AstraZeneca and J&J vaccines.
“Whilst more data need to be collected, and the implications carefully considered, it remains the case that for the vast majority of people the risks associated with contracting COVID-19 far, far outweigh any risk of being vaccinated.
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“Moreover, increasing awareness of the possibility of such side-effects means that they should be diagnosed more quickly and treated more successfully.”
Johnson & Johnson said it would delay the vaccine’s rollout in Europe in light of a review with European health authorities on cases of extremely rare blood clots.
An EU official also told Reuters that the European Commission is seeking clarification from Johnson & Johnson about its “completely unexpected” announcement of delays in deliveries of the COVID-19 vaccine to the EU.
South Africa has also suspended its rollout of the J&J vaccine for the time being.
Johnson and Johnson (J&J) is an American multinational corporation.
The Covid vaccine is made by Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen vaccine division.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals is a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Beerse, Belgium, and owned by Johnson & Johnson.
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