The Scandinavian countries of Norway and Denmark have both paused use of Astra-Zeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine while investigators look into several cases of blood clots among vaccinated people.
Around three hours after Denmark’s announcement, Norwegian officials said they would also suspend use of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine.
Both the Danish and Norwegian health ministries said that there was good evidence the vaccine, developed by Astra-Zeneca and Oxford University, was safe and effective but that they must react to reports of possible serious side effects.
People who received their first dose of Astra-Zeneca’s vaccine would have to wait for their second dose during the suspension, Denmark’s health authority said. It added that it was waiting for the results of an investigation by the European Medicines Agency.
The vaccine has been granted conditional marketing authorization or emergency use in more than 50 countries, including the UK and across the European Union. It has not yet been issued emergency-use authorization in the USA.
Regulators have clear and stringent efficacy and safety standards for the approval of any new medicine, and that includes Covid-19 Vaccine Astra-Zeneca.
Denmark’s health authority said that if it permanently suspended Astra-Zeneca’s vaccine, it would push back its vaccination plan by about only four weeks.
As of Tuesday, Austria, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, and Latvia had all suspended use of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine. Stock market shares in Astra-Zeneca slipped by more than 2% after the Baltic states announced their plans to halt the vaccine.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the UK’s vaccine regulator, said people should still take the vaccine, and that blood clots “occur naturally and are not uncommon.
Astra-Zeneca’s vaccine has become Europe’s least favorite shot. Europeans are turning down the Astra-Zeneca vaccine, and both Astra-Zeneca and EU leaders have made mistakes that sapped public confidence.
Business Insider / ABC Flash Point News 2021.