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10 May, 2021 12:26

Covid-19 vaccines by Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca should be excluded over potential side effects – Norwegian health experts

Covid-19 vaccines by Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca should be excluded over potential side effects – Norwegian health experts

The Institute of Public Health in Norway has recommended against the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, adding to a recommendation of permanently avoiding the use of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 jab over side effect fears.

In a press release on Monday, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) advised the government against the use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 jab, following guidance from a government-appointed commission. The committee also supported an earlier recommendation by the NIPH not to use the AstraZeneca shot. 

“We do not recommend that the vaccines be used in the national vaccination program due to the serious side effects that have been seen,” Lars Vorland, chair of the expert committee, said at a press conference on Monday. 

In its statement, NIPH formally published the recommendation not to use the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 jab. “Our goal is to protect as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, to reopen society and get everyday life back. It is therefore a difficult decision to recommend that one of the Covid vaccines not be used actively in the program.” 

NIPH recommends that the Johnson & Johnson shot be kept in emergency storage in case the vaccine supplies of the mRNA jab should fail. They add that it is particularly suited to being an emergency vaccine, as it only requires one dose and can be stored for a long time. 

Also on rt.com Norwegian health experts recommend stopping further use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine

The organization cited US data which suggests the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is less likely to cause blood clots than the AstraZeneca jab, but said there was not a clear picture yet.

NIPH said that there has been considerable progress in the vaccination program, with many elderly people already fully inoculated, and that there is reliable a supply of mRNA vaccines, i.e. Moderna and Pfizer, both of which have been authorized by Oslo.

Health Minister Bent Hoeie told a news conference that “the government will use this as basis for its decision, together with recommendations from the Institute of Public Health, on whether to use these vaccines.” 

In April, NIPH recommended that the government stop using the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine after a lengthy review of the jab. Oslo suspended the vaccine's use on March 11 following reports of potentially fatal rare blood clots. The blood clotting concerns have already led to limitations in the distribution of the vaccine in multiple countries. 

Five healthcare workers, all aged between 32 and 54, were hospitalized after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine in Norway. Three of them died.

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