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Recommendation of the Stiko on Monday : Johnson & Johnson vaccine probably only for people over 60
Johnson & Johnson's corona vaccine may only be recommended for people aged 60 and over. The Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) wanted to give this age recommendation on Monday, reported the magazine "Spiegel" on Friday. Younger people should be allowed to continue using the vaccine after being informed by a doctor.
The Robert Koch Institute confirmed to the magazine that a statement from Stiko is expected on Monday. A spokesman did not want to comment on what this would look like.
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Why should the vaccine only be used in people aged 60 and over?
Similar to Astrazeneca, with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, blood clots have been observed in isolated cases after vaccination. The USA had therefore temporarily suspended the vaccinations.
The vaccine has been approved in the EU since March, but has hardly been used so far. The EU Medicines Agency (EMA) decided in April to stick to its positive risk assessment of the corona vaccine from Johnson & Johnson despite the reports of blood clots. There is "a possible connection" between the vaccine and the occasional occurrence of blood clots, the EMA explained. The benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks.
The US authorities also recently gave the green light to Johnson & Johnson's vaccine after a temporary suspension.
[More about vaccinations: I want to get vaccinated - what can I do? (T +)]
Denmark, on the other hand, has completely stopped corona vaccinations with the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. The Danish health authority decided to remove the US pharmaceutical company's vaccine from the Danish vaccination program because of rare cases of blood clots. The agency came to the conclusion that the benefits of the vaccine did not outweigh possible side effects.
In April, the Danish government was the first country in Europe to stop vaccination with Astrazeneca for the same reason. In Germany, the Stiko had recommended at the end of March that the Astrazeneca vaccine should generally only be used for people over 60 years of age. The federal and state health ministers lifted the vaccine prioritization for the vaccine on Thursday.
How does the Johnson & Johnson vaccine work?
As with Astrazeneca and the Russian vaccine Sputnik V, it is a vector virus vaccine. A so-called adenovirus is used as the vector. This usually triggers a common cold, but has been modified to prevent it from multiplying.
The vector transmits genetic instructions to the cells to produce a specific protein of the Covid-19 pathogen Sars-CoV-2. This prepares the immune system to fight the real coronavirus.
In contrast to all other vaccines previously approved in the EU, one dose is sufficient for immunization.
How effective is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?
The effectiveness of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been tested on approximately 40,000 people aged 18 and over. In the studies in several countries, including the United States, Mexico, Brazil, and South Africa, half of the subjects received the vaccine and the other half a placebo. The tests showed a high effectiveness of 85 percent against corona infections with a severe course. None of the vaccinated subjects died; there were seven deaths in the control group.
According to the studies, the effectiveness against mild to severe Covid 19 diseases is 66 percent. However, the effectiveness seems to vary depending on the coronavirus variant. In the USA, the effectiveness against mild to severe infections was 72 percent, in South Africa, where the virus mutant B.1.351 was already rampant at the time of the study, it was only 64 percent.
In the case of the corona vaccines from Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna, which are already approved in the EU, the overall effectiveness is higher at around 90 percent. However, experts point out that these two manufacturers carried out their clinical tests before mutants such as the South African variant spread. (AFP / dpa)
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