Denmark, Norway and Iceland on Thursday quickly suspended using AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine over considerations about sufferers growing post-jab blood clots, because the producer and Europe’s medicines watchdog insisted the vaccine was protected.
Denmark was first to announce its suspension, “following reviews of great circumstances of blood clots” amongst individuals who had acquired the vaccine, the nation’s Well being Authority stated in an announcement.
It burdened the transfer was precautionary, and that “it has not been decided, on the time being, that there’s a hyperlink between the vaccine and the blood clots”.
As of March 9, 22 circumstances of blood clots had been reported amongst greater than three million individuals vaccinated within the European Financial Space, the European Medicines Company (EMA) stated.
Austria introduced on Monday that it had suspended using a batch of AstraZeneca vaccines after a 49-year-old nurse died of “extreme blood coagulation issues” days after receiving an anti-Covid shot.
4 different European international locations — Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxemburg — have additionally suspended using vaccines from this batch, which was despatched to 17 European international locations and consisted of 1 million jabs.
Denmark nonetheless suspended using all of its AstraZeneca provide, as did Iceland and Norway in subsequent bulletins on Thursday citing related considerations.
On Wednesday, the EMA stated a preliminary probe confirmed that the batch of AstraZeneca vaccines utilized in Austria was possible to not blame for the nurse’s loss of life.
– ‘Tremendous-cautious’ –
“This can be a super-cautious method primarily based on some remoted reviews in Europe,” stated Stephen Evans, a professor of pharmacoepidemiology on the London Faculty of Hygiene and Tropical Medication.
“The danger and profit stability remains to be very a lot in favour of the vaccine,” he stated.
AstraZeneca, an Anglo-Swedish firm which developed the vaccine with Oxford College, defended the protection of its product.
“The protection of the vaccine has been extensively studied in part III medical trials and peer-reviewed knowledge confirms the vaccine has been typically properly tolerated,” a spokesman for the group informed AFP.
Britain, whose widely-praised vaccine rollout has been largely underpinned by the AstraZeneca jab, additionally defended it as “each protected and efficient”.
The Danish suspension, which will likely be reviewed after two weeks, is anticipated to decelerate the nation’s vaccination marketing campaign.
Denmark now expects to have its total grownup inhabitants vaccinated by mid-August as a substitute of early July, the well being authority stated.
“We’re after all saddened by this information,” stated Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.
Frederiksen, who has pushed for the manufacturing of extra vaccines and has shaped a controversial alliance with Austria and Israel to take action, defended the Danish well being authorities’ determination.
“There may be at all times a threat related to vaccines,” she informed reporters.
“Issues have gone properly in Denmark, however there are some dangers linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine that should be examined extra carefully. That appears to me to be the appropriate approach to proceed.”
Danish Well being Authority director Soren Brostrom burdened that “we’ve got not terminated using the AstraZeneca vaccine, we’re simply pausing its use”.
“There may be broad documentation proving that the vaccine is each protected and environment friendly,” Brostrom stated.
“However each we and the Danish Medicines Company should act on details about potential critical uncomfortable side effects, each in Denmark and in different European international locations.”
Denmark stated one particular person had died after receiving the vaccine. The EMA has launched an investigation into that loss of life.
Within the Scandinavian nation of 5.8 million, round 25 p.c of those that have acquired a primary dose got the AstraZeneca jab.
In complete, 3.8 p.c of the inhabitants has acquired two doses of vaccine and 13.4 p.c a minimum of one dose.