Iceland to start J&J jabs next week

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Iceland has approved Johnson & Johnson's COVID vaccine and will begin administering it next week with no age limit, the country's health authority said Wednesday.

"We have received the conclusion of the European Medicines Agency which says the Janssen vaccine can be used and it will therefore be distributed next week," Kamilla Josefsdottir, an infectious disease specialist at the Directorate of Health, told reporters.

The decision comes a day after the European medicines regulator gave the one-shot vaccine the .

In its decision, the EMA said should be listed as a "very rare" side effect of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine, but that the benefits of the shot still outweighed the risks.

"We have decided to not have any restrictions on the Janssen vaccine for the time being," Josefsdottir said.

Some 2,400 doses of the vaccine arrived in Iceland on April 14 but have been held back, like in the rest of the European Union—of which Iceland is not a member but which is taking part in the bloc's vaccine supply programme—pending the EMA's decision.

Iceland has restricted the AstraZeneca , which uses the same viral vector method as the J&J jab, to people over the age of 60 due to the risk of rare but severe blood clots.

That age limit could however be lowered soon, the government said Wednesday, as Iceland expects to receive 16,000 AstraZeneca doses from Norway, which has halted its use of the jab pending further study.

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