Belgium suspends Johnson & Johnson vaccine for under-41s after death reported

Boxes of Janssen vaccines

Belgium has suspended the use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine for people under the age of 41 after the death of a person who had received the jab.

The government said in a statement it was asking for urgent advice from the European Medicines Agency, the European Union’s drug regulator, before it would consider lifting the suspension.

It added that the impact on the national vaccination drive would be very limited.

Belgium was using the vaccine – developed by J&J subsidiary Janssen – for elderly people with reduced mobility and the homeless since it only takes one dose to be protected. Those jabs will be continued.

It said it took the action after a single case “where there was serious side effects after administering the Janssen vaccine”.

A woman had been vaccinated through her foreign employer outside the Belgian system and died in Belgium last week after developing “serious thrombosis and reduced blood platelets”.

Officials did not provide more information about the patient, beyond saying she was under 40.

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