Denmark removes J&J from jabs program

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Denmark has removed the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 shot from its vaccination program to investigate reports of rare but potentially dangerous blood clots, health authorities say.

Denmark has already taken the AstraZeneca shot out of its vaccination program for the same reason.

Both the J&J, also known as Janssen, and AstraZeneca shots are made with similar technology.

The Danish Health Authority said in a statement that it "has concluded that the benefits of using the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson do not outweigh the risk of causing the possible adverse effect".

It added that the European Medicines Agency has concluded that "there is a possible link between rare but severe cases of blood clots (VITT) and the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson".

"As the COVID-19 epidemic in Denmark is currently under control, and the vaccination rollout is progressing satisfactorily with other available vaccines, the Danish Health Authority has decided to continue the national vaccination campaign without the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson."

Helene Probst, deputy director general at the Danish Health Authority, noted Monday's decision means that Denmark's vaccination calendar will be pushed back up to four weeks.

The decision was made at a meeting on Monday in parliament between Health Minister Magnus Heunicke and MPs from the different parties.

The vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna represent the bulk of the jabs given in the country of nearly 6 million people.

More more than 1.2 million residents have either received the first or the two shots, according to official figures.

Denmark is the first country to exclude the J&J jab from its vaccination program over a potential link to blood clots.