Slovenia has suspended the use of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine after a 20-year-old woman died two weeks after being inoculated.
In a statement, Slovenia’s Minister of Health Janez Poklukar said that a “suspected serious adverse event” occurred at the Ljubljana University Medical Centre.
The vaccination advisory group of Slovenia’s National Institute of Public Health advised that the vaccine be suspended “until the situation is clarified.” The health ministry said it would adopt the recommendation.
“The Minister stressed that he trusted the profession and followed its recommendations, and therefore supported the decision of the expert group that decided to temporarily withdraw this vaccine from vaccination centres,” the statement said.
The statement didn’t elaborate on how the woman died. But according to The Associated Press, the woman died of a stroke this week after receiving the vaccine two weeks prior.
A spokesperson for Janssen, the J&J subsidiary that developed the vaccine, told The Hill in a statement "there is no greater priority than the safety and well-being of the people we serve, and we carefully review reports of adverse events in individuals receiving our medicines or vaccines."
The spokesperson added that any report about a person receiving a vaccine is shared with appropriate health authorities as part of "the established process to inform health authorities’ comprehensive surveillance programs that monitor the overall safety of medicines, as well as the vaccines authorized for use against this pandemic."
The announcement came as demonstrators have protested tough coronavirus measures in the country, including the use of COVID-19 passes, according to AP. During the demonstration, participants held a moment of silence for the woman.
There has only been one case recorded in Slovenia linking vaccination and death, the health department said.
Over 2.1 million vaccine doses have been administered in Slovenia, and 120,000 people there have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
--Updated at 2:53 p.m.