Johnson and Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in Malta but will not be used for the time being.
Times of Malta reports that the batch arrived on Friday and will be stored for use until cleared for use by the European Medicines Authority.
Both the EU and the US have suspended the administration of the vaccine over six reported cases of a rare type of blood clot known as venous sinus thrombosis, which were detected in the US.
The US has so far administered the vaccine to roughly 6.8 million people meaning the incidence of the side effect is roughly one in every million cases.
On Friday, Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci revealed that Malta has also halted plans for the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to be included in its immunization programme.
The decision to suspend the use of the vaccine will come as a blow to local authorities, who have been banking on the one-shot jab in order to speed up Malta’s vaccine roll-out. Malta is set to receive 250,000 doses of that vaccine.
Last weekend, Health Minister Chris Fearne announced that Malta has brought forward its target for reaching herd immunity to June given the speed with which the country has managed to vaccinate the population.
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