UNITED KINGDOM. London: Some European countries, including Italy, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxembourg, have suspended all or parts of the AstraZeneca vaccine rollout as a precaution.
Denmark, Norway and Iceland have suspended the rollout of the vaccine, while Italy and Austria have stopped inoculating people using the doses form a certain batch. The decision was taken independently by each country after suspicious incidents occurred in people who received the vaccine.
The Danish Health and Medicines Authority said they will pause the rollout of the jab for at least 14 days while they investigate an unspecified number of blood clots experienced by people who received the AstraZeneca jab.
Danish health minister, Magnus Heunicke, said on Twitter: “The health authorities have suspended, due to precautionary measures, vaccinations using AstraZeneca [doses] following a signal of a possible serious side effect in the form of fatal blood clots. It is currently not possible to conclude whether there is a connection. We act early, it needs to be thoroughly investigated.”
Norway followed their neighbours and suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s jabs as a precaution.
Austria and Italy block the use of AstraZeneca’s specific batches
Austrian authorities said they were temporarily stopping the use of a specific batch of the vaccine after two people also developed clots.
One person developed multiple thromboses and died 10 days after vaccination and the other one was hospitalised with pulmonary embolism, but they are recovering, Sky News reports.
Italy has also announced on Thursday the stop to the AstraZeneca doses from the ABV2856 batch after “adverse events” occurred.
However, on Wednesday the EU Medicines Agency said on Twitter: “Preliminary view from EMA’s safety committee: there is no specific issue with a batch of #COVID19 Vaccine AstraZeneca that has been suspended in Austria after cases of multiple thromboses were reported.”
France 24 reports that “AstraZeneca on Thursday said the safety of its vaccine had been extensively studied in human trials and peer-reviewed data had confirmed the vaccine was generally well tolerated.”
Professor Anthony Harnden, from the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations, told Sky News there is no reason to doubt the safety of the jab in the UK.
EU approved on Thursday Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot coronavirus vaccine
While the AstraZeneca jab is under investigation in some countries, the EU has approved Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot COVID-19 vaccine.
The J&J jab is the fourth to be approved in the EU, after Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna.
The Commission has ordered around 200 million shots, but it’s not clear when they will be delivered.
EU Commission’s President, Ursula von der Leyen, wrote earlier on Twitter: “More safe and effective vaccines are coming to the market. We have just authorised the use of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine in the EU, following @EMA_News’ positive review. With the number of doses we ordered, we could vaccinate up to 200 million people in the EU.”