Denmark permanently withdraws AstraZeneca from vaccine rollout

Copenhagen, Apr 14 (EFE).- Denmark on Wednesday said it would permanently abandon its use of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine due to its possible links with rare blood clots.

The country had already paused the rollout of the vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca with Oxford University, in March.

“Based on the scientific findings, our overall assessment is there is a real risk of severe side effects associated with using the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca,” Søren Brostrøm, the director general of the Danish Health Authority, said in a statement.

“We have, therefore, decided to remove the vaccine from our vaccination programme,” he added.

The country would continue to use the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, the health body said.

The European Medicines Agency conducted a scientific review of the AstraZeneca vaccine and found that blood clots could be listed as a “very rare” side effect of the shot but insisted that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks.

The Danish Health Authority said it agreed with the EMA’s findings but noted that the European regulator said individual nations could decide on their vaccine strategies when considering the local epidemiological situation.

“In the midst of an epidemic, it has been a difficult decision to continue our vaccination programme without an effective and readily available vaccine against COVID-19,”  Brostrøm added.

“However, we have other vaccines at our disposal, and the epidemic is currently under control.”

“If Denmark were in a completely different situation and in the midst of a violent third outbreak, for example, and a healthcare system under pressure — and if we had not reached such an advanced point in our rollout of the vaccines — then I would not hesitate to use the vaccine, even if there were rare but severe complications associated with using it,” he added.

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