Countries Suspending AstraZeneca Vaccine Use

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In this file photo taken on February 12, 2021 a vial containing the Covid-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca and a syringe are seen on a table in the pharmacy of the vaccination center at the Robert Bosch hospital in Stuttgart, southern Germany. 
THOMAS KIENZLE / AFP

 

A growing list of countries has suspended AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 shots amid fears over blood clots and other possible side effects, despite the company and the World Health Organization insisting there is no risk.

Here’s a recap:

– Suspending batches –

Austria announced on March 8 that it had stopped administering a batch of the vaccine following the death of a 49-year-old nurse from “severe bleeding disorders” days after receiving it.

Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Luxembourg also suspended the use of doses from the same batch, which has been delivered to 17 countries and included one million vaccines.

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Italy’s medicines regulator on March 11 also banned the use of a batch as a precaution, triggering a similar decision from Romania.

And on March 14 Italy’s northern Piedmont region suspended use of the vaccine after the death of a teacher who had received it the day before.

 

– Nordic countries sound alarm –

Denmark was the first Nordic country on March 11 to say it will suspend the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a precautionary measure over fears of blood clots in vaccinated people.

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Iceland and Norway followed the same day, temporarily suspending use of all their supply of the vaccine citing similar concerns.

AstraZeneca, an Anglo-Swedish company which developed the vaccine with Oxford University, defended the safety of its product.

– Growing list –

Bulgaria suspended the use of the vaccine on March 12 as it investigated the death of a woman with several underlying conditions who received the jab in the past week.

An initial probe suggested the woman died from heart failure and an autopsy found no link with the vaccination.

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Thailand abruptly delayed the start of its rollout of the vaccine the same day, joined by the Democratic Republic of Congo.

On Saturday Norwegian health officials reported three more cases of blood clots or brain haemorrhages in younger people who received the jab, but say they can not yet say they were vaccine-related.

The next day Ireland and the Netherlands joined the list of countries temporarily deferring the use of the vaccine.

 

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