Johnson Johnson agrees to study rare blood clots from AstraZeneca

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In this illustration taken on January 11, 2021, a vial and sryinge are seen in front of a Johnson& Johnson logo. REUTERS Dado Ruvic Illustration A German scientist studying extremely rare blood clots linked to AstraZeneca's COVID 19 vaccine said on Tuesday that Johnson has agreed to work with him on the research after similar serious side effects have emerged in recipients of its shot.

Andreas Greinacher, a transfusion medicine expert at Greifswald University, announced the collaboration after the European Medicines Agency announced that it would add a label to J& J's vaccine warning of low blood clots with unusual platelet counts.

The shot from AstraZeneca has a similar warning; read more here. As with AstraZeneca, the EMA said the benefits of getting J& J's shot still outweigh the clotting risk, a position Greinacher also supports. Greinacher, who has released a new paper on Tuesday offering a potential explanation for the complications, wants J& J vaccine samples to study in his lab.

His team has been analysing specimens from people who had clots after getting shot by AstraZeneca.

Greinacher said today that we would work together, which we agreed on at a news conference. My biggest need, which I have expressed to the company, is I want to get access to the vaccine because the J& J vaccine is not available in Germany.

Johnson did not respond to a request for comment immediately. The EMA said on Tuesday that it suspects the vaccine may trigger an specific immune response, but the chairwoman Sabine Straus said that it has not identified any unwanted risk factors.

It would be very helpful to know before, whether it could be some kind of genetic disorder or something else in the blood vessels, Straus told reporters.

Greinacher does not believe such a prognostic test is likely based on experience with a serious disorder called heparin-induced thrombocytopenia that has defied efforts to determine why some people may be predisposed to the similar condition.

We even completely genetically identified 3,000 of these patients, and we could not find a gene predisposition, he said.

In the new, not yet peer-reviewed paper of Greinacher he suggests that the technology behind AstraZeneca's shot, some of its ingredients and the human immune reaction it causes, may contribute to a cascade of events that overpower numerous mechanisms that normally keep the brain healthy.

Both the AstraZeneca and J& J vaccines use a different cold virus, though common ones, to ferry coronavirus proteins to cells to create an immune response.

Individuals are different, and only if by coincidence, nine or 10 weaknesses are coming together, then Greinacher said.

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