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13 Apr, 2021 11:08

Australia refuses to buy J&J vaccine due to AstraZeneca similarities, as both firms are scrutinized over blood clots

Australia refuses to buy J&J vaccine due to AstraZeneca similarities, as both firms are scrutinized over blood clots

Australia has declined to purchase a vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson, because its mechanism is similar to the one used in AstraZeneca’s jab. Both vaccines are currently being investigated for links to blood clots.

The Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine is “an adenovirus vaccine, the same type of vaccine as the AstraZeneca vaccine,” a spokesperson for Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement.

The spokesperson said the government “does not intend to purchase any further adenovirus vaccines at this time.” Hunt himself later confirmed to reporters that the government's vaccine advisory body will not be recommending the purchase of J&J shots.

Australia’s national broadcaster ABC reported that J&J filed an application for “provisional registration” with the country’s drug regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Apart from the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, only the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is currently approved for use in Australia.

The news came as TGA reported the country’s second case of rare blood clots believed to be linked to the AstraZeneca shot. The first case involved a 45-year-old man from Melbourne who was vaccinated last month. Around 700,000 doses of the vaccine in question had been administered in Australia as of Tuesday, according to local media.

Also on rt.com Ireland’s vaccine advisory body recommends halting use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine in under-60s over blood clot risk

A British-Swedish company, AstraZeneca came under scrutiny in several countries around the world when some people began suffering from blood clots after being immunized. Earlier, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), EU’s top drug regulator, concluded that the “unusual” blood clots are a “very rare” side effect of AstraZeneca's vaccine, which is now officially known as Vaxzevria.

The EMA also argued that the benefits of getting the AstraZeneca vaccine still “outweigh” the possible risks from it.

On Friday, the EMA launched an inquiry into the J&J vaccine as well, following reports that four people who received it had suffered from blood clots, and one of them died. In a statement to the media, J&J said that “no clear causal relationship” had been established between the dangerous condition and the shot.

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