EU: J&J vaccine linked to rare blood clots, but benefits outweigh risks

Published: April 20, 2021 6:20 PM EDT

European regulators said Tuesday they found another possible link between the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and rare cases of blood clots.

As the pandemic drags on, Emer Cooke, executive director of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), said COVID-19 vaccines can end the suffering.

“There are still thousands of people dying every day. And I don’t need to tell you that there is untold human suffering behind all of these cases.”

But one vaccine has been tied to dangerous and deadly side effects.

“The careful review of the cases and other available evidence have led the committee to the conclusion that these blood clotting disorders are very rare side effects of the vaccine,” said Dr. Sabine Straus, Ph.D., MSc, chair of the European Medicines Agency’s Safety Committee.

The EMA points to a connection between J&J’s coronavirus vaccine and serious blood-clotting disorders.

A newly published paper in the New England Journal of Medicine comes to the same conclusion. Still, the EMA will move forward with the vaccine.

“The real benefits of the vaccine continue to outweigh these risks,” Cooke said.

“We’re confident that it can be rolled out appropriately.”

Straus said the product information will be updated “to reflect this information and will include a warning and an update of the side effects.”

She said the warning is enough to balance the scales.

“If treated early, health care professionals can help those affected in their recovery.”

The CDC’s Advisory Committee is meeting Friday to determine the next course of action for the J&J vaccine in the U.S.