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Coronavirus: Ema recommends unrestricted use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

2021-04-20T15:01:51.761Z

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine can very rarely cause blood clots. The EU Medicines Agency rates the benefits as greater than the risks.



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Especially in the USA, Johnson & Johnson is already doing a lot of work (here in Ohio)

Photo: Phil Long / AP

The corona vaccine from the US manufacturer Johnson & Johnson can be used without restriction in the EU after testing by the EU Medicines Agency (Ema).

In very rare cases, the active ingredient could trigger blood clots, the Ema announced on Tuesday.

Last week, the Ema announced that it would investigate cases of blood clots that had occurred in connection with a vaccination of the drug from Johnson & Johnson.

The announcement came after the USA temporarily suspended vaccinations with Johnson & Johnson because of isolated cases of sinus vein thrombosis - as was the case with the vaccine from the British-Swedish company AstraZeneca.

Johnson & Johnson's vaccine is already approved in the EU, but it is not yet administered.

After the vaccination stop, the manufacturer announced that it would postpone its deliveries to the EU that were planned for April.

For Germany, this means that around ten million fewer cans could be available in the second quarter.

To date, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the United States.

In six cases there was so-called sinus vein thrombosis, blood clots in the cerebral veins.

In addition, thrombocytopenia, i.e. a lack of blood platelets, had been reported.

Women between the ages of 18 and 48 were affected.

At AstraZeneca, too, mostly younger women were affected by the side effects.

A causal connection with the vaccination is plausible, wrote the Paul Ehrlich Institute responsible for vaccine safety.

The simultaneous occurrence of platelet deficiency and clots is noticeable.

The remedy is only recommended in Germany for people over 60 years of age.

The US authorities want to comment on their findings regarding Johnson & Johnson and how to proceed on Friday.

It is expected that the drug will be used again, possibly with certain restrictions - like AstraZeneca, it will then only be administered to the elderly.

Possible causes of the side effects

The US vaccine may have similar autoimmune reactions to AstraZeneca.

Because the vaccines from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are based on the same mode of action.

Both are vector vaccines, in which a harmless vector is used as a transport vehicle that transmits genetic instructions to the cells to produce a certain protein from Sars-CoV-2.

This prepares the immune system to fight the virus.

Two research groups have already published initial studies on why AstraZeneca vaccinated people developed the serious problems.

The teams from Germany and Norway discovered the same underlying mechanism: large amounts of antibodies that attack the platelets were found in the patients' blood.

An autoimmune reaction took place in your body, in which the immune system attacks the body's own structures.

When the antibodies attack, the platelets become active and clump together, just as they would to close a wound.

As a result, clots form - and the number of free platelets in the blood drops, thus creating the observed deficiency.

So far it is unclear how the vaccination triggers the antibodies to attack the blood platelets.

kry / AFP / dpa

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2021-04-20

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