J&J Covid vaccine suspended in Slovenia after 20-year-old dies

Slovenia has suspended the use of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by Johnson & Johnson after a 20-year-old woman died two weeks after receiving the jab.

Slovenia’s Minister of Health Janez Poklukar said that a “suspected serious adverse event” occurred at the Ljubljana University Medical Centre.

The vaccination advisory group of Slovenia’s National Institute of Public Health advised that the administration of the vaccine be suspended “until the situation is clarified.

“The Minister stressed that he trusted the profession and followed its recommendations, and therefore supported the decision of the expert group that decided to temporarily withdraw this vaccine from vaccination centres,” the statement from the Slovenian Department of Health said.

The Associated Press reported that the woman died of a stroke two weeks after being innoculated.

A spokesperson for Janssen, the J&J subsidiary that developed the vaccine, told The Hill in a statement “there is no greater priority than the safety and well-being of the people we serve, and we carefully review reports of adverse events in individuals receiving our medicines or vaccines.”

The spokesperson added that any report about a person receiving a vaccine is shared with appropriate health authorities as part of “the established process to inform health authorities’ comprehensive surveillance programs that monitor the overall safety of medicines, as well as the vaccines authorized for use against this pandemic.”

The announcement of the suspension came as demonstrators protested tough coronavirus measures in the Slovenia with particular opposition to the use of COVID-19 passes, Associated Press reported. During the demonstration, participants held a moment of silence for the woman.

There has only been one case recorded in Slovenia linking vaccination and death, the health department said, after 2.1 million vaccine doses have been administered.

In Slovenia, some 120,000 people have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has said that Covid-19 vaccines are safe and confer benefits in the general population. In April, the EMA investigated potential risk of blood clots with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine but also said that for that jab they believed the benefits outweighed the risks.

 

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