Johnson & Johnson jumps as vaccine shipments to Europe set to resume after regulator says benefits outweigh blood clot risks

johnson and johnson vaccine
A nurse loads a syringe with a dose of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine in Athens, Ohio.

  • Johnson & Johnson shares climbed Wednesday after a European regulator found an overall benefit of the drug maker’s COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The European Medicines Agency did find a possible link between the vaccine and the ‘rare’ side effect of blood clots.
  • J&J said it will resume shipment of its Janssen vaccine to the European Union.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Johnson & Johnson shares pushed to a three-week high Tuesday, with the company restarting shipments of its COVID-19 vaccine to Europe after the European Union’s drug agency said its benefits outweigh the potential risk of a “rare” side effect of blood clots.

The European Medicines Agency said Tuesday it found a possible link between the company’s vaccine and “very rare” cases of “unusual blood clots with low blood platelets.”

The agency said a warning should be added to product information about the Janssen-branded vaccine but also said the overall benefit-risk remains positive.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson rose as much as 3.1% to trade above $167 each, marking their first time above that price since March 29. The shares had added about 11% over the past year.

The drug maker said it will resume shipments of the vaccine in the European Union, Norway and Iceland, and that it will provide updated guidance from the medicines agency and healthcare professionals to national healthcare authorities.

“We appreciate the rigorous review of the [Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee] and share the goal of raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of this very rare event to ensure the correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment,” said Paul Stoffels, J&J’s chief scientific officer, in a Tuesday statement.

The blood-clot cases occurred in people less than 60 years of age and most were in women. The clotting took place within three weeks of receiving the vaccine.

The US recently paused the rollout of the Johnson and Johson vaccine on reports of the blood-clot cases.

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