Home / Science / Health /  Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine: France will continue using it for people aged above 55 yrs

France on Wednesday said that it is is sticking to its plan to give over-55s the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, news agency Reuters reported. Amid concern over rare blood clot issues, the United States and South Africa suspended Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

France has already been using the AstraZeneca jab among over-55s and had been planning to boost its campaign with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The government had received a first delivery of 200,000 doses, which "arrived on our territory at the start of the week and are being delivered to GPs and pharmacies".

The French administration reaffirmed their confidence in the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab as an "essential tool" in the fight against COVID-19. Denmark on Wednesday became the first EU country to abandon the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Reacting to the Danish move, Attal said: "We have confidence in the AstraZeneca vaccine as an essential tool in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic." He further mentioned, "It is important that this vaccine continue to be deployed. It is a vaccine that is safe and works."

Europe's medicines regulator said Wednesday it will make a recommendation on the safety of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus jab next week, news agency AFP reported. The "EMA is expediting this evaluation and currently expects to issue a recommendation next week," it said in a statement, after announcing last week a probe had been launched.

The United States regulator on Tuesday recommended a "pause" in administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine amid reports of blood clots. A type of brain blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets in six women between the ages of 18 and 48, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said in a statement. As of 12 April, more than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the US. "Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare," the statement added.

"Centers for Disease Control will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. The Food and Drug Administration will review that analysis as it also investigates these cases," the statement added.

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