The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have recommended that use of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose Covid-19 vaccine be put on “pause,” pending an investigation into reports of potentially “dangerous” clots.
The news comes as J&J on Monday started delivering some 50 million doses of its vaccine to the European Union, of which Greece is to get 33,600 on Wednesday. The first batch will be followed by an additional 300,000 doses in May and another 960,000 or so the month after that.
According to the Associated Press, Johnson & Johnson is aware of the reports of “thromboembolic events,” or blood clots, but says that that no link to its vaccine had been established.
“We are aware that thromboembolic events including those with thrombocytopenia have been reported with Covid-19 vaccines,” the company said in a statement. “At present, no clear causal relationship has been established between these rare events and the Janssen Covid-19 vaccine.”
The AP said that the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet Wednesday to discuss the cases and the FDA has also launched an investigation into the cause of the clots and low platelet counts.
“Until that process is complete, we are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution,” Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, and Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a joint statement.
Greece’s vaccination program has already suffered a small setback due to similar concerns over the AstraZeneca vaccine, which uses the same technology as the J&J shot.