What We’re Reading: J&J Vaccines to Restart in EU; Vaccination Rates Differ by Sex; Pfizer Reporting Fake COVID-19 Shots

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) will again administer its COVID-19 vaccine in the European Union; more women than men are being vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2; counterfeit Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines have been found in 2 countries.

EMA Gives Go-ahead for J&J to Resume Vaccination

The 27 member states of the European Union could soon start distributing Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine, again in light of a nonbinding recommendation from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), reports The New York Times, which included adding a warning on possibly associated rare blood clots. In the United States, too, J&J vaccine rollout has been on hold for the past week, due to a spate of cases of venous sinus thrombosis in combination with thrombocytopenia, mostly among younger women, one of whom has required brain surgery. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka is also reporting several cases of blood clots, and 3 deaths, in persons who have received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Women Outpacing Men at Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

Data from the CDC show that more women than men have received at least 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 65 million vs 55 million, or been fully vaccinated, 43 million vs 34 million. Experts propose several reasons for the gap: Women more often fall into prioritized worker groups, worry about COVID-19, and follow health precautions, The Hill reports. Even so, women are also more likely to report both minor and major adverse effects following vaccination, with experts noting their immune systems could be the reason or men just are delaying treatment more.

Fake Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccines in Mexico, Poland

Reports have emerged from Pfizer on the distribution of fake Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines in Mexico and Poland, according to The Wall Street Journal, which is attributing the instances to criminal activity. The fraudulent shots reportedly went for $1000 each in Mexico and were found in beer coolers, had fake labels and wrong expiration dates, and were administered to close to 80 patients, with none harmed. No patients received the fake shots in Poland, the vials of which were actually an antiwrinkle treatment.