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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Johnson & Johnson drops after US health officials call for pause in use of company’s COVID-19 vaccine

johnson & johnson vaccine
Administering a COVID-19 vaccine in Reading, Pennsylvania.

  • Johnson & Johnson shares fall Tuesday after the US FDA and CDC called for a pause in using J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine.
  • There were reports of a “rare and severe” type of blood clotting in six people who received J&J’s vaccine, including one fatality.
  • Shares of rival vaccine makers Moderna and Pfizer climbed after the joint announcement.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson fell Tuesday after the US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention jointly recommended a pause in the use of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine as they review reported cases of blood clots in people who had received the shots.

The FDA said the agencies are reviewing data involving cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in six women after they received the vaccine. The agencies in a joint media call said one case was fatal and one person is in critical condition. At least 6.8 million doses of J&J’s vaccine have been administered in the US.

“We are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution,” said the FDA and CDC.

Separately, J&J said Tuesday it will ‘proactively’ delay the rollout of its vaccine in Europe.

J&J shares fell 2.2% and declined by as much as 3.5% during the premarket session. J&J shares put pressure on the Dow Jones Industrial Average which slumped by more than 100 points. Meanwhile, shares of rival vaccine makers jumped after the news. Moderna shares surged 7.5% and Pfizer climbed by 1%.

The CDC said the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet Wednesday to further review the clotting cases and assess their potential significance and the FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates.

“Until that process is complete, we are recommending this pause,” the agencies said in the statement. “This is important to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.”

J&J shares have risen by more than 10% over the past 12 months.

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