Covid vaccine update: Johnson & Johnson jab investigated for blood clots

Four cases of rare clots with low platelets were reported after inoculation with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) confirmed. Also known as Janssen, the Covid vaccine initially proved 67 percent effective against the notorious virus in clinical trials. The one-shot jab has been rolled out across Europe and America in the past few months.
Due to its original sheen of success, the UK ordered 30 million doses of the Janssen jab.

The Medicines and Healthcare Regulations Agency (MHRA) are yet to approve the vaccine for use in the UK.

Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson have expanded their Phase 2a clinical trial to include adolescents aged 12 to 17 years of age.

Paul Stoffels, M.D., Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer at Johnson & Johnson commented on the development on April 2.

READ MORE: Covid vaccine and blood clots: What are the symptoms of CVST?

Young people from the UK and Spain are currently enrolled in the trial, with plans to enrol adolescents from the US, Netherlands, Canada, Brazil and Argentina.

In which ways the EU regulator’s investigation into the Janssen vaccine will impact this trial is yet to be detailed.

The dangers of blood clots

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) detailed the dangers of blood clots (i.e venous thromboembolism).

Typically, a blood clot develops int he lower leg, thigh, pelvis or arm.

People more at risk of a blood clot include those who have a family history of the life-threatening incident.

Anyone presenting signs of a blood clot must contact emergency service as soon as possible. 

“Blood clots can be life threatening if not treated quickly,” warned the NHS. 

Those more at risk of a blood clot include:

  • Overweight individuals
  • Smokers
  • Using combined hormonal contraception, such as the combined pill, contraceptive patch or vaginal ring
  • Previously had a blood clot 
  • Are pregnant or have just had a baby
  • Have an inflammatory condition such as Crohn’s disease or rheumatoid arthritis

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