NMRC updates on Janssen COVID-19 vaccine

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

Namibia has reported no serious adverse reactions so the Johnson & Johnson vaccine remains in use, says the medicines regulator.

The Namibia Medicines Regulatory Council (NMRC) issued a public notice on 24 June 2022 in which it stated that Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine would continue to be used in Namibia. 

The statement followed a brief suspension of the use of the vaccine in the US in April 2022 and then the restricting of the use of the vaccine by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on 5 May 2022 due to the continued, but very rare, reaction to the vaccine in some people who develop a blood clotting condition known as thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) following vaccination.

The latest FDA suspension and limiting of the use of the vaccine comes after its use was first suspended on 13 April 2021 by the FDA and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but was then re-authorised for use on 23 April 2021

With regard to the NMRC position on the vaccine, the notice of 24 June 2022 reads:

A segment of the statement issued by the NMRC on 24 June 2022.

The NMRC goes on to state:

“Following the recent regulatory announcements and emerging safety data, in line with the WHO, the EMA, SAHPRA, and being cognisant of the limited vaccines approved in Namibia, the NMRC maintains its initial approval of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older as the known and potential benefits outweighs the known and potential risks of receiving the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.”

The statement encourages anyone who receives or has received the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, as well as other COVID-19 vaccines available in the country, to immediately report any adverse reactions after vaccination to health authorities.

For a fact sheet on the safety and other aspects of the administration of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine see this FDA fact sheet for recipients and care-givers.

Anyone who is looking to get vaccinated against COVID-19 is encouraged to read up about the various vaccines and to read the statements from regulatory and health authorities if they have concerns about the vaccines.