J&J (JNJ) Privately Asked Rival Covid-19 Vaccine Makers to Inspect Clotting Risks, AstraZeneca (AZN) Said Yes but Pfizer (PFE) and Moderna (MRNA) Declined - Report

April 16, 2021 8:31 AM EDT

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Private talks between major COVID-19 vaccine makers have been held to address the clotting risks associated with vaccines produced by J&J (NYSE: JNJ) and AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN), the Wall Street Journal reports today.

JNJ argues that the group of vaccine makers should make a collaborative scientific exchange to increase patient safety, a company spokesperson told the WSJ. While AstraZeneca was interested in participating and communicating vaccine benefits and risks, both Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) and Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) didn’t see the need for group action.

J&J started reaching out to other companies last week following concerns about the safety of certain vaccines in Europe. The contact was made before the US warned about a potential connection between the JNJ jab and blood clots.

Last year, major vaccine makers, including JNJ, PFE, and MRNA signed a public pledge to ensure the safety and effectiveness of their vaccines before reaching out to authorities to ask for approval.

“It might turn people off from getting vaccines, but the flip side of that is these are brand-new vaccines,” said Dr. Kawsar Talaat, assistant professor in the department of international health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“When we see a safety signal arise, we stop and examine it, and decide how best to move forward in order to maximize people getting vaccinated but also protecting people from adverse events.”

Three days ago, the US health authorities recommended suspending the use of a single-shot vaccine produced by JNJ due to “an abundance of caution.”

Yesterday, the CDC advisory panel declined to vote on whether the use of the vaccine should resume as it first requires more data. This has likely delayed the resume of the JNJ vaccination program for at least a week.

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