The US recommended suspending the Johnson & Johnson vaccine just as Europe was about to start using it

Marianne Guenot
·3 min read
johnson and johnson covid vaccine
Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine is delivered as a single shot, while both Pfizer and Moderna's require two jabs. Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • The US suspended use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while it reviews cases of blood clots.

  • The news came as European countries were getting ready to roll out their first doses.

  • The European Medicines Agency is also investigating the cases of rare blood clots.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Europe had just started receiving doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine when the US announced it would be suspending its use to investigate cases of blood clots.

J&J is aiming to deliver 55 million doses of the vaccine to the 27 EU member states, plus Norway and Iceland, by the end of June, EU industry commissioner Thierry Breton has said.

For the following quarter, the target is 120 million doses. It is a single-shot vaccine, so requires half as many doses as the Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca shots.

On Tuesday, Johnson & Johnson said that they would be delaying their roll out of the vaccine in Europe.

Here is the situation in Europe with Johnson & Johnson:

  • Sweden said Tuesday it would review plans to use the vaccine in light of the US announcement.

  • The Dutch medical regulator said it would continue its rollout, arguing that the benefits outweigh the risks.

  • France received its first doses of the Johnson &Johnson vaccine on Monday, and will be offering the vaccine to everyone over the age of 55, France 24 reported on Monday.

  • Germany is expecting 275,000 doses this week, Health Minister Jens Spahn has said.

  • Spain expects 300,000 Johnson & Johnson shots on Wednesday, and will first administer the vaccines to those aged 70 to 79, DW reported. On Tuesday, the Spanish prime minister said that the benefits of the vaccine outweight its risk, but that authorities would slow down the roll out of the vaccine.

  • Belgium said on Tuesday it would keep using the shot. The country received its first shipment, 36,000 doses, on Monday.

  • Ireland should receive 605,000 doses by the end of June.

The US CDC and FDA both recommended immediate suspension of the use of the vaccine while 6 reports of blood clots were being investigated. So far 6.8 million doses of J&J vaccine have been used in the US.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced on Friday that it was closely reviewing the US cases.

Johnson & Johnson had initially planned to deliver its first doses in early April but faced production issues, Reuters reported. The vaccine was approved for use in Europe on March 11.

The African Union has also ordered 400 million doses of the J&J vaccine, 220 millions of which are expected to be delivered from June.

Australia, by contrast, has said that it would not be ordering doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, because of its similarities to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

On Wednesday, the EMA listed unusual blood clots as a adverse side effect of the vaccine.

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