WARSAW, Poland – Poland plans to immunize using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after receiving its first batch of 120,000 doses on Wednesday.
Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said Poland is following the latest recommendations from the European Medicines Agency, which said it is “currently not clear” whether the J&J; shot caused rare blood clots reported in some recipients. The EMA approved the vaccine for use in the European Union last month.
“In line with these recommendations, we will want to use it in inoculations,” Niedzielski said.
On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration temporarily paused Johnson & Johnson shots in the United States to investigate possible links to blood clots in six women six to 13 days after vaccination.
Poland is trying to speed up its vaccination drive amid high numbers of daily coronavirus cases and COVID-19-related deaths. Niedzielski said some 75% of COVID-19 hospital beds are taken.
The country of some 38 million people has administered almost 8 million doses of the Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines.
THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
– Biden says pause on J&J; shots shows govt putting safety 1st
– EXPLAINER: What’s known about COVID vaccines and rare clots
– The postponed Tokyo Olympics open in 100 days, but nothing is inevitable these days
– California is lagging in reopening schools, and parents are finding some options unacceptable
– Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
MUMBAI – India’s worst-hit and most prosperous state India’s worst-hit and richest state Maharashtra will impose stricter restrictions for 15 days on Wednesday to stem the surge of coronavirus infections threatening to overcome hospitals.
Top Maharashtra state officials stressed that the closure of most industries, businesses, public places, and limits on the movement of people didn’t constitute a lockdown.
Last year, a sudden, harsh, nationwide lockdown left millions of people in India jobless overnight. Stranded in cities with no income or food, thousands of migrant workers walked on highways to get home. Since then, state leaders have repeatedly stressed that another lockdown wasn’t in the cards.
India on Wednesday reported over 180,000 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, about a third in Maharashtra state, and a total of 13.9 million patients in the pandemic.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that most public places, shops, and establishments will be shut for 15 days starting 8 p.m. Wednesday, except for essential services like grocery stores and banks.
MADRID – Spain’s prime minister says his government is maintaining its goal of immunizing 70% of the nation’s adult population, some 33 million people, by the end of the summer despite the delay in the European rollout of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Spain was expecting 300,000 doses of the Janssen vaccine on Wednesday, the first delivery of the jab produced by Johnson & Johnson. The country wants to prioritize people aged between 70 and 79 to receive the single-dose vaccine.
But those plans had to be put on hold after the pharmaceutical company delayed delivery of the vaccine to European countries following the decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to pause the shots in the United States to investigate possible links to very rare blood clots.
The hold-up comes after various delays in shipments of other vaccines and a similar blood clot scare with the AstraZeneca vaccine that led Spain to limit it to people over 60 years old.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, however, told Spain’s Parliament on Wednesday that “the pace of vaccination is going to accelerate in April and (…) we will meet our goal.”