THE Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will not start its Spanish and European distribution tomorrow(April 14).
That’s after six rare blood clot cases were found in the United States among people getting the single-dose jab.
The Johnson decision followed the American health authority decision to suspend use of its vaccine pending inquiries into the blood clot cases.
The delay to Spanish deliveries could seriously derail plans for the country to fully immunise 70% of the population by the end of August.
Spain has over 17.5 million dose of the Johnson vaccine pencilled in for their mass vaccination push over the summer.
Seven million people in the United States had Johnson vaccinations with the six blood clots affecting women aged between 18 and 48, with one of them dying.
A company spokesman said: “We have taken the decision ourselves to proactively suspend European deliveries following the extremely rare US blood clot cases.”
The first 300,000 dose shipment should have arrived in Spain tomorrow and would have been used for people aged between 70 and 79.
By the end of June, it was forecast that Spain’s Health Ministry would have received 5.5 million doses of the Johnson formula.
After the news from the US, but before the unilateral Johnson decision, Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, said: “All of the vaccines being used in Spain and across Europe have a risk-benefit analysis that is without doubt absolutely tilted in favour of benefit.”
Last Friday, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said that it was investigating four serious cases of unusual blood clotting involving people who had been injected with the Johnson vaccine.
The symptoms were similar to rare cases recorded among recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccine.