Denmark Suspends Use Of AstraZeneca Jab In "Precautionary" Step Following Blood Clot Reports
The use of the AstraZeneca jab has been paused in several countries
Denmark has temporarily paused its rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine after someone who received it later died of a blood clot.
Several other countries, including Norway and Iceland have paused the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab following reports of severe side effects, despite health officials stressing that no firm link had been established between the events.
Danish authorites said the rollout would be paused for two weeks as a "precautionary measure" while they investigate reports of "serious cases of blood clots among people vaccinated with AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine".
In a statement, the director of the Danish Health Authority, Soren Brostrom, said: "Both we and the Danish Medicines Agency have to respond to reports of possible serious side-effects, both from Denmark and other European countries."
He added: "It is important to point out that we have not terminated the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, we are just pausing its use."
The Danish national health agency said they would reassess the use of the jab in 14 days time but added there was "good evidence that the vaccine is both safe and effective".
Meanwhile, Danish health minister Magnus Heunicke, wrote on Twitter that it was "currently not possible to conclude whether there is a link. We are acting early, it needs to be thoroughly investigated".The move comes after Italian medics also announced their were halting the use of one batch of the vaccine after becoming aware of "some serious adverse effects," but stated the move was also precautionary and that no link had been made with the jab.
Austria, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Latvia have also suspended the use of a batch of 1m doses sent to 17 European countries following reports that a 49-year-old Austrian women had died of "severe blood coagulation problems" in the days after receiving her jab.
The European Medicines Agency said this week there was no evidence to connect the death with the jab and added there was no "specific issue" with the Austrian batch.
In a statement, a spokesperson for AstraZeneca said patient safety was their "highest priority" and there had been "no confirmed serious adverse events associated with the vaccine".
"Regulators have clear and stringent efficacy and safety standards for the approval of any new medicine, and that includes Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca," they added.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson's spokesperson said the UK would continue to rollout the AstraZeneca jab, adding the "important message is that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine remains safe, remains effective, and when people are asked to come forward and take it, they should do so with confidence".