In a statement yesterday the European Medicines Agency said the “overall benefit-risk” of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine “remains positive” but they said a low risk warning of the vaccine had to be added to the label after concerns rose over the vaccines links to rare blood clots. 8 cases of the rare blood clots were discovered amongst the 7 million people that recieved the jab. Executive director of the European Medicines Agency Emer Cooke went on to stress how the EMA has “a very good system” to act “quickly” and take action as more is understood about the jabs links to clots.
The EMA’s Emer Cooke explained there are always the risk of rare side effects from vaccines when given to millions of people but said the EMA are prepared to act “quickly” and take action.
The director said: “When vaccines are rolled out to a large number of people it is possible that very rare side affects can occur.”
But she warned: “These will not necessarily have ben identified in the clinical trials.
“But because we have a very good pharmaco-vigilance system in place in Europe we can spot these events very quickly and we can take action.”
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The EMA said the rare blood clots linked to the Johnson & Johnson jab were very similar to the cases linked to the AstraZeneca jab.
Last week Johnson & Johnson slowed up the distribution of the jab in Europe after the EU ordered over 200 million doses of it.
And the USA also recomended a pause in its use after 8 rare blood clots were discovered from 7 million people who had recieved the vaccine.
Both Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines have been designed with the same Adenovirus technology.
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The news comes as coronavirus data has shown just 32 people in Britain have been hospitalised with the disease after having a vaccine dose.
Tuesday saw another 192 people admitted to hospital with coronavirus. But new data suggests 32 of those hospitalised in recent months have had a vaccine dose within three weeks, out of 74,405 admissions.
Research carried out by scientists from institutions including the University of Liverpool, revealed by The Telegraph, examined the outcomes for all patients admitted to hospital with coronavirus, including those who had received at least one jab, and had sufficient time to build immunity.
Out of 74,405 Covid-19 patients between September and March, just 32 had received a vaccine at least three weeks before.
Updated results, and detailed analysis by the UK Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium, are due to be handed to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) on Wednesday.
Public Health England previously published data which suggested a single dose of AstraZeneca or Pfizer cuts hospitalisations in over-80s by around 80 percent.
A study from the University of Manchester also held the rate of admissions for 80 to 83-year-olds fell by 75 percent when vaccinated five weeks after getting the Pfizer jab.
Earlier Boris Johnson praised the vaccine rollout as “making a big difference” but warned “we don’t yet know the full extent of the protection that we’re building up, the exact strength of our defences.”