Vaccine against Covid-19: the High Authority for Health warns of the risk of heart attack with Janssen

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The Haute Autorité de Santé indicated that the risk of myocardial infarction had been established within two weeks following an injection with the Janssen vaccine, particularly in people under 75 years of age. The Ministry of Solidarity and Health has decided to temporarily suspend the vaccine.

In a notice published on Monday, February 21, the Haute Autorité de Santé indicated that vaccination with the Janssen vaccine (developed by Johnson & Johnson laboratories) could lead to “a slight increase in the risk of myocardial infarction within two weeks” , which follow the injection in adults under 75 years of age. In its recommendations, the HAS relies, among other things, on pharmacovigilance data from the “EPI-PHARE” report published on January 18th.

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This Tuesday, February 22, the Ministry of Solidarity and Health announced that it would follow the recommendations of the HAS. The health authorities thus wish to reserve vaccination with Janssen for certain very specific situations. The use of this vaccine will be temporarily suspended in France for the coming weeks, “pending European pharmacovigilance work”. The HAS “believes that these data must quickly be the subject of a review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA)”: a meeting must be organized at the beginning of March, within the framework of the Prac (Committee of pharmacovigilance risk assessment). The question of the Janssen vaccine will be discussed there.

38 million doses injected worldwide

The Ministry of Health therefore calls on the French to favor vaccines that use messenger RNA technology, such as Pfizer’s Cominarty, or Moderna. Still, Janssen, the only single-dose vaccine that was available in France, remained very unpopular in France. Every day, an average of ten injections were carried out with this vaccine in the country. The provisional suspension of this vaccine in France should therefore not impact the vaccination campaign in France.

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Worldwide, 38 million doses of the Janssen vaccine have been administered. The HAS wishes to reassure and affirms that no “signal related to the risk of myocardial infarction has been identified at European level or at United States level”.

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