Blood clots have been confirmed as a possible side effect of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by the European Medicines Authority.
This comes after EU countries suspended their rollout of the American jab following six reports of patients developing blood clots after taking the J&J jab. Over seven million US citizens have been inoculated with J&J the COVID-19 vaccine so far.
Following a review of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the EMA said it will include blood clots on the list of risks associated with the jab. It stressed, however, that it is a very rare side effect, but is still important to note for health practitioners and patients.
That being said, the EMA gave EU countries the go-ahead to use the vaccine, saying that the benefits far outweigh the risks of catching the virus.
The EMA’s executive director Emer Cooke said that so far, no cases of blood clots have been reported in connection to the J&J vaccine in Europe, as few people on the continent have been inoculated with it so far.
“In the US, all cases were women under 60 years old and a fatal outcome has been reported. Our careful review led to the conclusion that blood clots are rare side effects of the vaccine. We will analyse any new data as it comes available” she said in a press briefing.
“At this moment it’s not possible to link gender or age to blood clots. The most possible hypothesis is an immune response to the vaccine,” she added.
Johnson and Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Malta last week. However, health authorities decided to wait until their use was cleared by the EMA after the reports of blood clots in the US.
Malta has been banking on the one-shot jab in order to speed up its vaccine roll-out. The island is set to receive 250,000 doses of that vaccine.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Chris Fearne has 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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