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.


    Norway reclassifies Covid-19: No more dangerous than ordinary flu

    OsloCovid-19 is treated in the mass media as a very dangerous disease in the face of which mass vaccination and severe restrictions for the whole society are applauded despite few deaths beyond the risk groups. But in Norway, it has now been decided to treat it like other respiratory diseases, such as influenza or the cold virus, because according to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health it is no longer more dangerous than these.

    Elysee denies malicious Telegraph article on giving up its UNSC seat

    ParisFrance has formally denied being ready to give the EU its seat on the UN Security Council. "The seat is ours and will remain so," said the Elysee, in response to an article in a British newspaper.

    UK newspaper: France could offer its UN permanent seat to EU

    ParisFrance's seat at the UN could be given to the European Union to promote the creation of an EU standing force after Australia made it clear that it would be pursuing nuclear technology for its submarines together with the US and UK.

    Italy: Nationwide house raids against vaccine opponents

    MilanThe Milan Public Prosecutor's Office has launched searches of anti-vaccination opponents in six Italian cities. Allegedly the members of the Telegram group "The Warriors" planned violent demonstrations against the Covid-19 policy of the Italian government.

    Orban offers Pope copy of 1250 letter in which a Hungarian king pleads for help against Tartar invasion

    BudapestDuring his visit to Budapest on Sunday to celebrate mass, Pope Francis met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose anti-migration policy in Hungary he does not share. The Pope received a copy of a letter reminding him why he should be more circumspect in his views.

    EMA: Almost a third of Covid vaccination side effects are severe

    BrusselsThe reported suspected side effects for the four Covid vaccines, which have only been conditionally approved in the EU, are record-breaking after just 8 months. Serious side effects have been reported.

    Breaking news: UK government drops Covid passport

    LondonIn the UK, Health Minister Sajid Javid has told the BBC that Covid passports will not be introduced in his country. When will European countries come to their senses?

    France: Thousands protest against ‘health pass’ for 9th weekend in a row

    ParisOn Saturday, demonstrators took to the streets in the French capital for the ninth consecutive weekend to express their displeasure with the health passport policy of the Macron administration. The protest quickly degenerated into clashes with the police.

    Key Dutch ministers in bed with the WEF

    The HagueAt the end of May, the Forum for Democracy led by Thierry Baudet, submitted a parliamentary question on the relations between cabinet members and Klaus Schwab's World Economic Forum. "We received evasive or even no answers to these questions," said Dutch MP Pepijn van Houwelingen.

    Marine Le Pen’s phone number leaked on social networks

    ParisThe cellphone number of the president of the National Rally was published on social networks. Many strangers called her, forcing her to change her number and file a complaint.

    Go to archive