Johnson & Johnson announced Tuesday it will â€œproactively delayâ€ the rollout of its coronavirus vaccine in Europe, citing blood clotting concerns in the U.S.
U.S. authorities recommended suspending the vaccine on Tuesday, citing six cases of an extremely rare blood clotting disorder in combination with low platelets. The U.S. has already used 6.8 million doses of the one-shot vaccine.
European regulators launched an assessment of blood clotting issues associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Friday.
â€œIt is currently not clear whether there is a causal association between vaccination with COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen and these conditions,â€ the EMA wrote in a statement. It added that its safety committee, PRAC, â€œis investigating these cases and will decide whether regulatory action may be necessary.â€
The EU was set to start using the vaccine starting this week, planning to receive 55 million doses by the end of June.
The move is another significant setback in the EUâ€™s vaccination campaigns, especially after numerous EU countries have limited the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to older populations following similar blood clotting concerns. Both are adenovirus viral vector vaccines.
â€œThe safety and well-being of the people who use our products is our number one priority,â€ the company wrote in a press release. â€œWe have been working closely with medical experts and health authorities, and we strongly support the open communication of this information to healthcare professionals and the public.â€
British regulators, meanwhile, were expected to approve the vaccine in coming days, according to the Times.