Skip to Content

Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Photo credit: Mika Baumeister

Norway sends ditched Johnson & Johnson vaccines to South Africa

An expert panel in Norway had recommended that the country drop vaccines made by Johnson & Johnson as well as AstraZeneca from its anti-Covid-19 campaign due to the risk of blood clots. Despite the risk, the Janssen product will be made available in South Africa, according to Camilla Stoltenberg, the director of Norway's National Institute of Public Health.

Published: July 1, 2021, 2:14 pm

    Read more

    Norway will finance the local production of 400 million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses in South Africa, with Norfund, the Norwegian state’s investment fund for developing countries, investing a total of $7,5 million in the project.

    And Norway is not doing it for any health benefits either: “We are an investor, not an aid organisation. This is a loan, not a gift. But here we expect a relatively low return,” Norfund director Tellef Thorleifsson told national broadcaster NRK. He cannot promise that all the vaccines will be free for African consumers, but says that “that is what is being planned”.

    Africa’s current vaccination rate is less than 2 percent of the total population. He hopes to increase the vaccination rate in the next year.

    The South African holding company Aspen Pharmacare will produce the vaccine under license from Johnson & Johnson. The Aspen Pharmacare manufacturing plant is in the eastern city of Gqeberha, which until March this year was known as Port Elizabeth.

    “Production started already in April, and in the course of 12 months, 300 million doses will be made, and over a year and a half fully 400 million,” Thorleifsson explained. Of these, South Africa has pre-ordered 60 million doses while the African Union ordered 220 million to cover some 30 percent of Africa’s population.

    The risky single-dose Janssen vaccine has the advantage of being easier to store, enabling better distribution, since it does not need to be ultra-cooled, which is difficult in African climatic conditions, according to Stoltenberg. But in the EU, the contracts with AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson jabs will not be extended when they expire, an anonymous source in the Italian Ministry of Health told the Italian newspaper La Stampa.

    There is an agreement between the EU Commission and many EU countries to eventually drop vaccines based on so-called virus vector technology.

    Several African countries have received vaccines that they did not manage to distribute before they expired. South Sudan, for example, received 132 000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine under the international Covax program for poor countries in March. Some 72 000 of these were returned because the authorities did not have the capacity to use the vaccines in time.

    South Africa offered its stock of AstraZeneca to the African Union in February this year after it paused its rollout because trial data showed it offered minimal protection against the “variant of the virus that emerged in the country last year”.

    At the time, South African Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told parliament in Cape Town that rumours that the doses, which were purchased from the Serum Institute of India (SII), had expired and were being returned to India were “simply not true”. At the same time, the health minister announced that the country had instead secured 9 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

    In June, however, South Africa had to discard at least 2 million Johnson & Johnson shots produced in the country after they were found by the US Food and Drug Administration to be “contaminated at a Baltimore plant”.

    South Africa has also purchased and is expecting delivery of 30 million doses of the Pfizer product. Mostly whites have paid for and received the jab so far due to targeted propaganda telling them that it is the only way to “halt” the pandemic.

    In Norway, the panel of health experts, commissioned by the Norwegian government, stopped the Johnson & Johnson roll-out after the use of the AstraZeneca jab was first declared risky. The recommendations of the panel were adopted alongside advice from the Institute of Public Health, which also called for both injections to be dropped from the programme.

    Explaining its recommendations, the panel said eight Norwegian cases of severe clotting had been linked to AstraZeneca and four of those recipients had died. They cited the same adverse reactions for advising against the use of the J&J shot. “Great emphasis must be placed on maintaining confidence in the national vaccination scheme so that immunity can be established in the population in multiple potential rounds of vaccination in the coming years,” the panel declared.

    Norway was not the only country which stopped the use of both AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. France, Germany, the UK and Canada have also restricted use of the shots. Denmark has stopped using both products completely despite rising Covid-19 infections.

    In the US, several states stopped the use of these two vector products too: New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia, Missouri, Georgia, Michigan and Ohio said they would follow a recommendation by the Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration to pause Johnson & Johnson’s distribution after reports of blood clotting.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Cardinal Anders Arborelius, Bishop of Stockholm, is one of the Catholic bishops who signed the letter, which was read out in churches throughout Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland over the Easter weekend. Photo: The Catholic Church

    Care prompts bishops to criticize transgender ideology

    The Catholic bishops of the Scandinavian countries presented an open five-page letter criticizing transgender ideology on March 21, just before Easter. The document primarily expresses care and advice and was read aloud in Catholic churches in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland. Cardinal Anders Arborelius, Bishop of Stockholm, is one of the signatories of the document.

    FREEZING IN THEIR HOMES is the new grim reality for many Brits and Northern Europeans. Margaret is 92 years old and has just come in from the winter cold, but no warmth awaits her at home. She fears her own home more than the icy streets. Next to her are four thick blankets, and on the shelf above the fireplace, which she can no longer afford to buy wood for, is a meter showing the daily cost of electricity (inset). It shows £1.03, about 13 SEK. When it reaches £3, about 38 SEK, she is forced to turn off the little heat she has to afford it. Still image: ITW News

    Brits Forced to Live in Darkness and Cold

    Food prices are rising at a furious pace, fastest in Scotland in almost half a century. At the same time, energy prices are at record highs. People are forced to choose between freezing or going hungry, and a majority of Scots are forced to live in cold and darkness to cope with bills. Old generations' tricks for saving and keeping warm are returning. Nevertheless, it is feared that 10,000 Brits will die of cold homes this winter. We present the Swedish Public Health Agency's guidelines on indoor temperature. Governments in Europe are introducing rationing and monitoring of food purchases. Net-zero emissions are a lie that, in practice, de-industrializes the West and dramatically lowers our standard of living.

    Thousands of Flemish farmers block roads in Brussels against nitrogen policy

    BrusselsMore than 2500 farmers from Belgium's Dutch-speaking Flanders region gathered at Brussels' central Arts-Loi street and blocked roads with tractors toward Brussels to protest the regional government's plan to limit nitrogen emissions.

    Orban: EU energy sanctions costing citizens billions

    BudapestHungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has warned that some western states could soon send troops to Ukraine. He also criticized the fact that the EU sanctions against Russia had cost Hungarian taxpayers tens of billions of euros.

    Italy: New leader of the Social Democrats is one of Soros’ ‘preferred politicians’

    RomeDuring the election campaign, Elly Schlein presented herself as the standard-bearer of the poorest. However, her background and previous work raise doubts about her honesty.

    UK greenhouses shut down due to high energy costs

    LondonIn Great Britain, a particularly depressing facet of the crisis is now showing its first contours - and thus anticipating what is likely to happen in other European countries in the near future: because of the exploding energy prices, agriculture is being strangled and fresh produce has to be rationed.

    Lisbon opens borders to all Portuguese speakers

    LisbonNot only the German and Italian governments keep opening new paths for immigration. Portugal, too, has opened a Pandora's box and is paving the way for possibly millions of non-European immigrants to the EU – something which is not mentioned by the mainstream media.

    Illegal immigration to Italy has reached its highest level ever

    RomeIn Italy, despite the overwhelming right-wing electoral success in September, there is still nothing to be seen of the promised asylum turnaround – on the contrary. Giorgia Meloni has been in office for five months, but the arrivals of migrants in Italy have doubled compared to the previous year.

    Dismantling diplomacy with ‘feminist foreign policy’

    BudapestGerman Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) wants to counter German security issues abroad with feminist politics. Gender training, LGBTQ events and quotas are now part of their new guidelines, which are intended to bring about "cultural change". The German ambassador to Hungary, Julia Gross, provided an embarrassing example.

    Germans demand investigation of Nord Stream sabotage

    BerlinAfter the sensational revelations by US investigative reporter Seymour Hersh about the perpetrators of the Nord Stream attacks on September 26, 2022, the German government has remained silent. It does not want to comment on Hersh's research results, according to which the pipelines were blown up by Americans and Norwegians.

    Go to archive