Apr 13, 2021 - Health

Johnson & Johnson delays vaccine rollout in Europe amid U.S. pause

Illustration of a pattern of syringes, with a spotlight on one of them.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday said it will delay its COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Europe, after the U.S. recommended a pause on administering it "out of an abundance of caution" after several women developed a rare blood clot disorder after getting the shot.

The state of play: J&J was set to send 50 million doses of its one-shot coronavirus vaccine to the European Union within the next few weeks. But the company now says it is reviewing cases of the "extremely rare" blood clotting with European authorities.

  • The recommended pause in the U.S. was on account of six cases of blood clotting that occurred within 6.8 million recipients of the J&J vaccine.

Why it matters: Europe is in a race to quickly vaccinate its population in order to obtain herd immunity. The J&J vaccine offered an expedient option, requiring only one dose in order to reach maximum efficacy.

  • The AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, which was authorized throughout Europe, is also facing confidence concerns over rare incidents of blood clotting.
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