DENMARK, ICELAND AND NORWAY FREEZE ASTRAZENECA VACCINATIONS
Denmark on Thursday announced a 14-day suspension of COVID-19 vaccinations from pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca after reports of severe cases of blood clots in people who have received it, prompting other countries to follow suit, Steffen Trumpf and Lennart Simonsson reported for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
Danish Health Minister Magnus Heunicke stressed that the suspension was "precautionary." The Danish Public Health Authority said earlier that it is investigating potential adverse effects related to the jab, noting blood clots in some vaccinated patients.
A single casualty has been reported in Denmark - although it was not certain there was a link between the British-Swedish company's vaccine and the formation of blood clots, the Danish Health Authority said. Iceland and Norway later announced similar suspensions.
In Norway about 121,000 people have been vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, Norwegian authorities said.
"We will await information if there is a connection between the vaccine and this case of blood clots," said Geir Bukholm, who is with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
Meanwhile, Sweden's Medical Products Agency said there was insufficient information to suspend inoculations with the AstraZeneca vaccine, but it would continue to monitor developments.
Veronica Arthurson of the Swedish agency told a briefing that it has had two cases of thrombosis linked to the AstraZeneca jab and about 10 cases of thrombosis linked to the vaccine produced by US-German venture Pfizer/BioNTech. She noted that more than 1 million vaccinations have been conducted in Sweden.
Finnish authorities said they were also looking at possible side effects linked to the AstraZeneca jab, but had no current plans to suspend inoculations with the vaccine. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has launched an investigation into the vaccine, as have national health authorities in several European countries.
"There is currently no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions, which are not listed as side effects with this vaccine," the EMA statement said.