Denmark suspends use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Australias choice of vaccine AstraZeneca

An unconfirmed number of patients have developed blood clots after receiving the shot, according to health authorities. Iceland has also stopped administering the shot.
The Danish Health Authority on Thursday halted the use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for 14 days.

Denmark suspends use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

It follows reports of “serious cases of blood clots among vaccinated people,” a statement read.

The Danish Health Authority stopped short of saying there was a direct link between the vaccine and the blood clots, “at the time being.” Shortly after the announcement, Iceland followed suit.

Danish, EU authorities launch an investigation
The Danish Medicines Agency said it had launched an investigation into the vaccine.

The probe is being carried out by corresponding agencies in other EU-countries as well as the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The EMA is in charge of the evaluation and supervision of medicinal products in the EU.

“Both we and the Danish Medicines Agency have to respond to reports of possible serious side-effects, both from Denmark and other European countries,” the director of the Danish Health Authority, Soren Brostrom, said in a statement.

What EMA and AstraZeneca said about the vaccine
AstraZeneca said its shots are subject to strict and rigorous quality controls.

It said there have been “no confirmed serious adverse events associated with the vaccine.”

The EMA found no evidence linking the Austrian cases to the AstraZeneca vaccine, the agency said on Wednesday.

It said the number of thromboembolic events — marked by the formation of blood clots — in people who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine is no higher than that seen in the general population.

There had been 22 cases of such events being reported among the 3 million people who have received the AstraZeneca shot as of March 9.

AstraZeneca vaccine use in Europe
Delivery of 1 million doses of the shot went to 17 EU countries.

A total of seven European countries have now halted the use of a vaccine batch from AstraZeneca.

Austria stopped using AstraZeneca shots while investigating death from coagulation disorders and an illness from a pulmonary embolism.

Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Latvia have also halted inoculations while the investigation continues.

Further concerns over AstraZeneca vaccine

The vaccine developed by the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company has already generated concerns over its efficacy in other countries.

In Germany, many of the vaccine doses developed by the firm are going unused due to worries that it is less effective against virus mutations.

Because of a lack of studies into its effects on older people, the vaccine has been approved in Germany for people younger than 65.

South Africa halted the rollout of the vaccine due to a trial showing it was less effective against the South African B.1.351 COVID variant.

Officials say they have received reports of fatal or life-threatening blood clots in a small number of people who had recently received a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. That may sound worrying, but it is not yet known if there is any connection between the two things.

It was on Sunday that a 49-year-old woman in Austria died from multiple blood clots. She had been vaccinated 10 days earlier. Another person who received a shot from the same vaccine batch was also hospitalised for a blood clot in the lung.

As of 9 March 2021, two other reports of thromboembolism have been received for this batch, ABV5300. It contained a million doses and was delivered to 17 EU countries, including Austria and Denmark.

A full investigation into batch quality is ongoing, but a defect is considered unlikely.

Denmark suspends use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

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