Hindustan Times (East UP)
Europe awaits verdict on J&J jab
Aus-NZ travel bubble bursts after just one day as airport worker in Auckland tests +ve for the coronavirus
THE HAGUE/AUCKLAND: Europe’s drug regulator was expected to rule later on Tuesday on the safety of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine after fears it could be linked to extremely rare blood clots, while countries on the continent and outside it battled a terrifying wave of coronavirus infections.
The United States is also expected to announce its decision on the single-shot J&J vaccine by Friday, as nations around the world try to accelerate their roll-outs and revive their pandemic-ravaged economies.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) was due to hold a press conference from Amsterdam, after reviewing four cases, one fatal, of rare blood clots reported among people who got the J&J shot. But the number of reported clots were “extremely small” compared with the 4.5 million J&J shots administered worldwide, the EMA has said.
That comparison echoes the comments by top US pandemic adviser Anthony Fauci, who described the clots as “an extraordinarily rare event”. Fauci believes the US would resume use of the jab, possibly with some warnings.
The J&J vaccine concerns follow similar reports of blood clots in a very small number of people who received the AstraZeneca shot. The EMA described those clots as a “very rare” side effect, stressing that the AstraZeneca jab’s benefits outweigh the risks.
NZ case: Infected person cleaned aeroplanes
A worker in New Zealand’s Auckland airport has tested positive for Covid-19, authorities said on Tuesday, a day after the country opened its border to Australian residents for the first time in more than a year.
The infected worker, who was fully vaccinated against the disease, had been cleaning airplanes coming from countries with known virus outbreaks, PM Jacinda Ardern said. The person tested negative on April 12 but tested positive on April 19 as part of routine testing, Ardern told reporters, adding that contact tracing was underway.
New Zealand’s health authorities were urgently liaising with their Australian counterparts, Ardern said, with no initial indication that the “travel bubble” between the countries would be halted.
Prisoners at Guantanamo getting vaccinated
Prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre will now begin getting the Covid-19 vaccine, a senior defence official told AP on Monday, months after a plan to inoculate them was scuttled over outrage that many Americans weren’t eligible to receive the shots.
The new timing coincides with US President Joe Biden’s deadline for states to make the vaccines more widely available across the US.