Covid19 – Australia decides against buying J&J over blood clot concerns
The Australian government said Tuesday it had decided against buying the single-dose Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine and identified a second case of a rare blood clot likely linked to the AstraZeneca shot.
Health Minister Greg Hunt had ruled out a J&J contract because its vaccine was similar to the AstraZeneca product, which Australia had already contracted for 53.8 million doses.
With 700,000 AstraZeneca doses injected in Australia since early March, the two cases equate to a clotting frequency of 1-in-350,000, the regulator said. British authorities say the risk of such blood clots is 1-in-250,000 in that country.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine also has side effects that include swollen lymph nodes. The increased inflammation is a result of the creation of antibodies.
In addition to Pfizer and AstraZeneca, Australian health officials have said the approval process is well advanced for the Novavax vaccine, of which Australia has purchased 51m doses.