Johnson & Johnson is delaying the rollout of its COVID-19 vaccine in Europe after US officials recommended pausing its use

Paul Squire,Marianne Guenot
·2 min read
johnson & johnson vaccine
A vial of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine. Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images
  • Johnson & Johnson has suspended the rollout of its COVID-19 vaccine in Europe.

  • Several countries had received their first doses on Monday.

  • On Tuesday the US suspended use of the vaccine while it investigates reports of rare blood clots.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday announced a delay in rolling out its COVID-19 vaccine in the European Union hours after US health officials called for authorities to pause using it.

The 27 EU member states plus Norway and Iceland had started receiving doses of the vaccine on Monday. The bloc was expecting 55 million doses by June and 120 million doses in the following quarter.

"We have been reviewing these cases with European health authorities," Johnson & Johnson said in a statement on Tuesday. "We have made the decision to proactively delay the rollout of our vaccine in Europe."

Officials with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said earlier Tuesday that health agencies should pause giving the shot out of an "abundance of caution," citing extremely rare reports of blood clotting among the millions of people who've gotten the vaccine.

Six women between 18 and 48 years old developed the clots within two weeks of being vaccinated, the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration said in a joint statement.

Read more: GlaxoSmithKline stumbled with COVID-19 shots. Now it's facing an exodus of US talent and an uncertain future as the world's vaccine leader.

Federal agencies suspended using the shot, and many state and local health authorities followed suit on Tuesday morning.

Following the announcement, Sweden said that over the next couple of days it would review its use of Johnson & Johnson's shot. Belgium and the Netherlands said that for now they would continue to use the shot.

The delivery of the vaccines to EU countries, Norway, and Iceland had already been delayed by production issues.

"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," Johnson & Johnson said.

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