The first country in Europe to abandon AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine in April, Denmark announced on Monday that it would also drop Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine because of possible serious side effects, despite green lights from the European regulator and WHO to use it.
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“The Danish National Health Authority has concluded that the benefits of using Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine do not outweigh the risk of causing a possible side effect, VITT (a very rare type thrombosis linked to the injection of the serum), in people who receive the vaccine, ”she said in a statement.
Therefore, Denmark “will continue the Danish COVID-19 mass vaccination program without the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” she announces.
Denmark, which appears with this decision among the first to renounce it in the world, had never authorized the vaccine, marketed in Europe by Janssen, a subsidiary of J&J. His job or not had been evaluated since mid-April.
This decision will slow down by four weeks the current immunization campaign in the Nordic country, where the epidemic is considered “under control” and where the majority of people at risk and healthcare workers have been vaccinated.
According to the latest tally, 11.5% of the 5.8 million Danes are fully vaccinated and 23.4% have received a first injection.
Currently four vaccines are authorized in the EU: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson – the latter two under certain age conditions in most European countries.
“It should also be borne in mind that in the future we will first and foremost vaccinate younger and healthy people,” said Deputy Director General of the Danish Health Authority, Helene Probst, quoted in the report. communicated.
In April, the US regulator temporarily suspended the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after rare cases of thrombosis.
In Europe, the EMA estimated that it benefited from a favorable benefit / risk ratio despite a “very rare” risk of blood clots.
Denmark has ordered 8.2 million doses of the vaccine, the first of which were received in mid-April.