EU agency reviewing blood clots with Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said its safety committee 'has started a review of a safety signal to assess reports of thromboembolic events' with people who had received the shot.

In this file photo taken on 17 November 2020 an illustration picture shows vials with COVID-19 vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of US pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson. Picture: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The EU's drug regulator said on Friday it had launched a review of possible links between the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine and blood clots after reports of four cases, one of them fatal.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said its safety committee "has started a review of a safety signal to assess reports of thromboembolic events" with people who had received the shot.

"Four serious cases of unusual blood clots with low blood platelets have been reported post-vaccination with COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen," the EMA said, referring to US pharma giant J&J's European subsidiary.

"One case occurred in a clinical trial and three cases occurred during the vaccine rollout in the USA. One of them was fatal."

The watchdog has approved the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for use but its rollout across the 27-nation EU is not due to start until later this month.

The probe comes days after the Amsterdam-based watchdog said it was listing the same type of blood clots as a very rare side effect of the rival AstraZeneca vaccine.

Both jabs use similar adenovirus vector technology.

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