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Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 Vaccine Stumbles over Blood Clot Allegations

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

On April 13, 2021, CDC and FDA recommended a pause in the use of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine. Of the nearly 7 million doses administered so far in the United States, a small number of reports of a rare and severe type of blood clot have been reported in people after receiving the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.  All reports occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred six to 13 days after vaccination.

All the COVID vaccines were rushed to market in unprecedented fashion to address the pandemic that has gripped the world since March 2020.  However, neither the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines have been suspended or caused as much widespread concern as the vaccine manufactured by Johnson & Johnson.

Now Johnson & Johnson is coming under fire for stoking fear about Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines when in fact Johnson & Johnson’s shot is the only one authorized in the US with reports of blood clots.

In its media statement, Johnson & Johnson wrote there had been reports of blood clots for “all Covid-19 vaccines.”

“That is a really irresponsible thing to say,” said Dr. Paul Offit, referring to the J&J media statement. Offit, a vaccine expert at the University of Pennsylvania, is a member of the US Food and Drug Administration’s advisory panel that reviewed emergency use authorization applications from all three Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers.

Big Pharma, most especially J&J, Pfizer, and Moderna recognize the public relations pitfalls associated with COVID vaccine problems as well as the billions of dollars at stake in this risky venture. 

Moderna and Pfizer are mRNA vaccines, and J&J is an adenovirus vector vaccine. AstraZeneca also uses an adenovirus vector platform, and it too has been linked to very small numbers of rare blood clots.

The Johnson & Johnson April 9 media statement included a link to a Lancet study that shows reports of blood clots with AstraZeneca’s vaccine.

Johnson & Johnson sought help from Pfizer and Moderna to look into reports of blood clots, but both companies declined, saying their vaccines appeared to be safe, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the situation. AstraZeneca, however, did agreed to join forces with Johnson & Johnson, according to the report.

While the revelation of blood clots associated with the J&J vaccine fuels the anti-vaccine community and others who are suspicious of the COVID vaccine in particular, the unprecedented rapidity with which the pharmaceutical companies brought a vaccine to market hasn’t tamped the negative speculation.  Here is a decent website concerning the history of vaccines and their development.

If you or a loved one developed a blood clot after taking the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine, call us today for an initial consultation.

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