- Johnson & Johnson has suspended its rollout of the vaccine in Europe.
- Several countries had just received their first doses on Monday.
- On Tuesday, the US suspended use of the vaccine while it investigates reports of rare blood clots.
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Johnson and Johnson announced a delay in rolling out its COVID-19 vaccine in the European Union, hours after US health officials called for authorities to pause using it.
The 27 member states, Norway, and Iceland, had started receiving doses of the Johnson & Johnson on Monday. The bloc was expecting 55 million doses by June, and 120 million doses in the following quarter.
"We have been reviewing these cases with European health authorities," the company said in a statement Tuesday. "We have made the decision to proactively delay the rollout of our vaccine in Europe."
Officials with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that health agencies should immediately pause giving the shot, citing an "abundance of caution" over extremely rare reports of blood clotting among the millions of doses administered.
Six women between 18 and 48 years old who received the vaccine developed the clots within two weeks of being vaccinated, the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration said in a joint statement Tuesday.
Federal agencies immediately suspended using the shot, and many state and local health authorities followed suit Tuesday morning.
Following the announcement, Sweden said it would be reviewing its use of the Johnson & Johnson shot in the next couple of days. Belgium and the Netherlands said that, for now, they would continue to use the shot.
The delivery of the vaccines to Europe, Norway and Iceland had already been delayed by production issues.
"We have been working closely with medical experts and health authorities, and we strongly support the open communication of this information to healthcare professionals and the public," Johnson & Johnson said.