Johnson & Johnson jab recommended for all over 18s

Ljubljana – The national advisory committee on immunisation has recommended the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine against Covid-19 for everyone over the age of 18, in line with the guidance issued by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Announcing the decision, the body’s head Bojana Beović said the use of the vaccine is not being limited to an age group, but the age limit stated in the vaccine’s registration will be followed.

According to EMA documentation, the person develops immunity 14 days after getting a Johnson & Johnson jab, said Beović. Only one dose is required.

EMA reviewed the Johnson & Johnson vaccine following a small number of reports from the US of serious cases of unusual blood clots associated with low levels of blood platelets among people who had received the vaccine.

On Tuesday the regulator announced that blood clots should be listed as as very rare side effects of the vaccine and said the vaccine’s benefits outweigh the risks.

EMA adopted the same view on the AstraZeneca vaccine and the Slovenian advisory committee followed suit by recommending the vaccine for over 18s.

Given the planned vaccine supplies, Slovenia expects to be able to inoculate at least 50% of its population or 63% of its adult population by the end of June.

The estimate was made by Milan Krek, the head of the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), earlier today.

He said by the end of June Slovenia expected to be supplied about 1.6 million doses of Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines as well as 263,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

It is not clear yet how many AstraZeneca jabs the country will get, but Krek said the vaccination rates would be much higher if this vaccine was supplied as well.

NIJZ data show that 387,213 people have received their first dose of a vaccine against Covid-19 and 156,495 have received two, which means 7.5% of the population has been fully immunised.