Several countries suspend AstraZeneca rollout after Danish blood clot reports

(Update: adds info on Norway and Italy)

Copenhagen, Mar 11 (efe-epa).- Denmark has temporarily halted the use of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by AstraZeneca to probe whether it could be linked to several cases of blood clots reported among vaccinated people.

Norway and Italy have also suspended the rollout of the vaccine, developed by the Swedish pharmaceutical company and Oxford University.

The Danish health authority said the decision came after reports of severe blood clots in people after they had taken the vaccine, including one person who died, but emphasized that there was, at present, no evidence that it was a side effect of the jab.

“We are in the middle of the largest and most important vaccination rollout in Danish history. And right now we need all the vaccines we can get. Therefore, putting one of the vaccines on pause is not an easy decision,” said Søren Brostrøm, director of the National Health Board.

“But precisely because we vaccinate so many, we also need to respond with timely care when there is knowledge of possible serious side effects. We need to clarify this before we can continue to use the vaccine from AstraZeneca,” he added.

The suspension would come under review in 14 days, the health board said, adding that all appointments for the AstraZeneca vaccine would be put on hold in that period.

Mette Frederiksen, the Danish prime minister, told a press conference that pausing the AstraZeneca rollout was the right decision, adding that she believed the country was still on track to become “normalized” by summer.

Denmark’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout is among the most advanced in Europe.

Austrian health authorities suspended a batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine after a patient developed multiple thrombosis and died 10 days after receiving the jab. Another person developed a pulmonary embolism but later recovered.

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