Denmark is removing the Janssen vaccine from the vaccination programme due to the rare side effect of thrombosis and low platelet counts. That‘s what the Danish Health Authority reports.
The authorities justify their decision with the current Danish corona situation, which is currently ‘under control‘. Therefore, the benefits of vaccinating with the Janssen vaccine would not outweigh the potential disadvantages of side effects.
For the Netherlands, Denmark’s decision does not give rise to changes to the vaccination strategy. “We will keep an eye on the situation,” says a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.
The decision in Denmark was taken, inter alia, on the basis of analysed corona data from the United States, Steltcceit correspondent Dirk Evers. Also, according to Evers, the Danish coronation situation is quite favourable at the moment. “Denmark is in a luxury position, there is no third wave and all risk patients have already been vaccinated.”
The Health Authority predicts that the removal of the Janssen vaccine will result in a delay of up to four weeks for certain age groups. Other age groups would be subject to a delay of one week. According to the newspaper B.T., this means that the last age groups may be vaccinated at the beginning of September.
The Janssen vaccine was central to Danish vaccination policy, but the country had to start pricking the vaccine. Danish Prime Minister Frederiksen called the shot in February a game changer for the vaccination campaign, because only one shot is needed. The country had ordered over eight million shots. Denmark is now continuing to vaccinate with vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer.
Also in other countries, the introduction of the Janssen vaccine was delayed following reports of adverse reactions. In the Netherlands, the first Janssen pricks were made at the end of April after the European Medicine Agency (EMA) had given an opinion on a possible side effect of thrombosis and a reduced platelet count. According to the EMA, it is likely that this is a very rare side effect of the vaccine, but the benefits of its use outweigh the disadvantages.
Two weeks ago, Denmark also decided to stop vaccinating with the Astrazeneca vaccine after post-vaccination thrombosis. There are now more than 440,000 pricks on the shelf of AstraZeneca.
It is still unclear what exactly happens with the remaining doses of AstraZeneca and Janssen. They may go to people who voluntarily apply for it, writes, among others, the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet. The daily Jyllands-Posten reports that there is even a political majority to make a shot with one of the remaining doses “voluntary and free”.