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Dansk

The COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson

The COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson has been pulled from the Danish vaccination programme following international reports of several severe cases of blood clots, bleeding, and low blood platelets counts (VITT).

The vaccine from Johnson & Johnson has been authorised for use by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), but due to the severe blood clotting events, the Danish Health Authority has decided to continue its vaccine rollout without the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. 

As the COVID-19 epidemic in Denmark is currently under control, and the vaccination rollout is progressing satisfactorily with other available vaccines, the Danish Health Authority has concluded that the benefits of using the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson do not outweigh the risk of causing the possible adverse effect, VITT, in those who receive the vaccine.

The Danish Health Authority has reviewed the use of the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson in the Danish COVID-19 vaccination programme based on international data and statements released in the last month. In addition, a team of Danish experts has contributed to the evaluation of the vaccine.

See when it is your turn to be vaccinated in:

Vaccination calendar


FAQ - COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson

1. Why has the Danish Health Authority decided to continue the vaccination programme without the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson?

Rare cases of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) have been observed following vaccination with the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. 

The risk of severe side effects such as VITT must be weighed against how many cases of severe illness from COVID-19 the vaccine will be able to prevent. The COVID-19 epidemic in Denmark is currently under control, and we are entering a phase where we are about to vaccinate younger and healthy people who are at low risk of severe illness from COVID-19. 

The Danish Health Authority has concluded that given the current state of the epidemic in Denmark – including infection pressure, disease burden and epidemic control, for example – the risks associated with using the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson do not outweigh the benefits.

2. How will this decision affect the vaccination calendar?

The vaccination calendar is updated on an ongoing basis. The removal of the vaccine from Johnson & Johsom has pushed back the end date for when the everyone is vaccinated.

See when it is your turn to get vaccinated in:

Vaccination calendar

3. Are you not being overly cautious in choosing not to use the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson?

Given the current state of the epidemic in Denmark, the Danish Health Authority does not consider that the benefits of using the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson outweigh the risks.

However, if the situation in Denmark changes – in terms of infection pressure, disease burden, epidemic control, or other vaccines' availability, for example – we may reverse this decision and include the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson in our mass vaccination programme.

4. Will Denmark be using the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson later?

The decision to continue the rollout without the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson and Johnson does not rule out that the vaccine may be used later. New knowledge may emerge, or the situation in Denmark may change – increased pressure on the national halthcare system, epidemic control, or other vaccines' availability, etc.

5. What is known about the severe side effects that the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson can cause?

A possible link has been established between vaccination with the COVID-19 vaccines from Johnson &Johnson and AstraZeneca and incidences of the rare but severe side effect VITT. 

VITT stands for 'vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia' and is a syndrome that causes severe blood clotting event with bleeding and low blood platelets.  So far, we know that the condition occurs because the vaccine may trigger the production of antibodies against the blood platelets, causing blood clots and severe bleeding.

For Vaxzevira® (the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca), one case of VITT is seen for approximately every 40,000 doses of vaccine given. It is yet unclear whether the risk of the side effect VITT following vaccination with the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson is as high, lower or higher than Vaxzevria® (the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca). Nor do we know whether the risk of VITT is equally significant for men and women. 

The Danish Health Authority is monitoring the situation closely.

6. Are the other vaccines safe?

Yes. 

All vaccines are closely monitored both internationally and by the Danish authorities. There is no suspicion that the mRNA vaccines should cause side effects that we do not already know about. No evidence has surfaced of the same type of rare but severe side effects of blood clotting, low platelets, and bleeding that we have seen with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The European Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) continuously reviews safety data for the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna and have concluded that the vaccines are safe to use.

Updated 08 JUN 2021