Australia has no current plans to add Johnson & Johnson's one-dose coronavirus vaccine to its immunization drive, authorities said on Tuesday, as it moves away from procuring vaccines under review over blood clots.
This report also comes as the USA has called for a pause on Johnson & Johnson's Janssen single-dose COVID-19 vaccine after reports of rare blood clots.
The news came as Health Canada said it was investigating reports of clots linked to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the United States.
The agency also identified Canada's first case of blood clotting with low platelets in a Quebec woman who received an AstraZeneca shot made by the Serum Institute of India.
Australia has abandoned a goal to vaccinate almost all of its 26 million population by the end of 2021 following advice that people under the age of 50 take Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine rather than AstraZeneca's shot. This prompted Australian officials to recommend that those younger than 50 receive the Pfizer Inc's vaccine in preference to AstraZeneca's shot, throwing the vaccination programme into disarray.
More than 700,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered in Canada and the risk of getting blood clots from COVID-19 itself is far higher than from the vaccine.
The COVID-19 vaccines of Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca use an adenovirus, a harmless class of common-cold viruses, to introduce coronavirus proteins into cells in the body and trigger an immune response.
On April 7, the E.U.'s medicines regulator reported it found a "possible link" between the vaccine and blood clots, but recommended vaccinations continue in adults because the benefits still outweigh potential risks.
Premier Ford and Health Minsiter Christine Elliott have both received doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to prove it is safe.
Australia began vaccinations much later than some other countries, partly because of its low number of infections, which stand at just under 29,400, with 909 deaths, since the pandemic began.