South Africa’s Medical Stakeholders Will Hold Discussions On Tuesday, Over Concerns Around The Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 Vaccine.

South African Medical Research Council President Glenda Gray Says South Africa’s Medical Stakeholders Will Hold Discussions On Tuesday (13 April), Over Concerns Around The Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 Vaccine. US health officials have called for an immediate pause in use of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose Covid-19 vaccine after six women who received it developed a rare and severe form of blood clotting.

Gray told BusinessDay that discussions are underway between South Africa’s medicines regulator, the health minister, and researchers about whether or not to pause administering the shots until there is greater clarity on the possible link between the vaccine and the blood-clotting events reported in the US and Europe. South Africa is using the J&J vaccine as part of its Sisonke trial rollout which is targeting healthcare workers. The move is likely to heighten worry about vaccines around the world after similar issues caused delays in distribution of AstraZeneca shot, Bloomberg reported.

A type of brain blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis was seen with low levels of blood platelets in the women, who were all between the ages of 18 and 48, the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday in a joint statement. “We are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution,” the CDC and the FDA said in the statement.

“This is important, in part, to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan for proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.” More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the US through Monday, the agencies said.

The recommended pause may also further complicate the global vaccination push, coming just weeks after a vaccine relying on a similar approach and developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford raised similar concerns in Europe. Clotting fears have prompted many countries to impose age restrictions on use of the Astra vaccine, which was co-developed with the University of Oxford.


Johnson & Johnson said it will also delay the rollout of its Covid-19 vaccine in Europe. The company said it is reviewing the cases of blood clotting with European health authorities, it said in a statement Tuesday. The incident is another blow to the European Union’s vaccine campaign. The EU was relying on the single-dose vaccine to boost its immunization drive, and deliveries to the 27 member states had just started this week.

After a litany of supply and safety concerns around the Astra shot, immunisations have advanced in recent days in Germany, France and other countries. The European Medicines Agency said in a statement that it’s not clear whether there’s a causal link between the vaccine and the clots. The EMA is investigating the cases to decide whether regulatory action is necessary.

This news was originally published at Business Tech.