EU drug regulator to issue view on J&J vaccine next week

  • EMA expects to issue recommendation following review
  • U.S. paused J&J vaccine use to look into rare clotting
  • EMA says benefits of J&J vaccine still outweigh risks
  • J&J has recommended EU countries suspend use of its vaccine

April 14 (Reuters) - Europe's drug regulator said on Wednesday it planned to issue a recommendation on Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ.N) COVID-19 vaccine next week, but that it continued to believe the benefits of the shot outweighed the risks of side effects.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is reviewing a small number of cases in the United States of very rare blood clotting disorders among people who had received the J&J vaccine.

The agency also said J&J had recommended EU member states hold on to the doses they had already received until the watchdog's safety committee issues its recommendation.

J&J said on Tuesday it would "proactively delay" the rollout of its vaccine in Europe, after U.S. federal health agencies recommended pausing its use for at least a few days after six women under the age of 50 developed rare blood clots after receiving the shot. read more

The vaccine was authorised in the European Union on March 11 but widespread use in the bloc has not yet started, trailing a rollout in the United States.

Investigations into rare blood clots linked to AstraZeneca's (AZN.L) shot have already hobbled Europe's vaccine rollout. Denmark said on Wednesday it would drop AstraZeneca's vaccine, which is similar to J&J's, over the risk. read more

Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni

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