J&J Vaccine: US, South Africa suspends vaccine administration

Calgary, Alberta. Canada. Jan 30, 2021. A couple of Johnson and Johnson covid-19 vaccines with a syringe and medicine boxes on the background.

The US Federal authorities had made an announcement to tarry a while in the usage of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

In which the South African government and European Union followed the same lead.

On Tuesday South Africa Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced the suspension of J&J vaccine till US investigation reports are out.

Dr Mkhize said this is a precautionary step and being careful in the administration of Covid-19 vaccine.

The African country had abandon the use of the 1 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine purchased earlier.

But due to strong and new variant of the virus in the country, the AstraZeneca could not combat it.

South Africa had to sell all the purchased Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to the African Union.

It is still unclear with which South Africa will continue the country’s vaccination program with.

This came in after US health authorities had to pause in the administration of J J Covid-19 Vaccine, after reports of blood clotting cases getting rampant.

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says six cases in 6.8 million doses have been reported and acts “outs of an abundance of caution”.

The six cases reported were women between the age of 18 and 48 with symptoms that shows 6 to 13 days after vaccination.

Meanwhile, the company Johnson & Johnson as also delayed vaccine rollout for the whole of Europe.

US as more confirmed cases of Covid-19 with more than 31 million having more than 562,000 deaths.

America approved the use of J & J vaccine on 27 February.

But they have administered to the extent of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna dose.

Johnson & Johnson statement

J&J, the US health care company issued a statement that says safety is the “number one priority.

Hence, the company have shared “all adverse event reports” with health authorities.

The company added that: “We aware of the thromboembolic events including those with thrombocytopenia reported with Covid-19 vaccines.

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“For now, no clear causal relationship is established between this rare events and the Janssen (J&J) Covid-19 Vaccine.”

The health care company also said they are reviewing cases with the European health authorities.

“We have taken decision to proactively delay the rollout of our vaccine in Europe.”

Safety Concerns for Africa

Some African countries have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, Sputnik vaccine and begins vaccination.

However, World Health Organization (WHO) has advised African nations to continue the use of AstraZeneca vaccine in which majority of doses supplied under the Covax scheme.

Based on current information, WHO says “the benefits outweighs the risks, hence African countries should continue to vaccinate citizens with the AstraZeneca vaccine.”

However, WHO has not released statement about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine that America paused the use because of rare blood clotting cases discovered.

A few African countries have also stop the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine as precautionary measures.

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But, WHO tells BBC that for now, only Chad and Zimbabwe had given statements on not using the vaccine.

DR Congo had stopped the vaccine rollout but begins redistribution of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab again.

Also Read: Nigeria Pivots From AstraZeneca to Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 Vaccine

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