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Records show a link between the application of this vaccine and the appearance of symptoms such as low platelet counts, clots in blood vessels, and bleeding.
Denmark's National Board of Health (NBH) on Wednesday definitively suspended the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The decision was taken after considering the availability of sufficient vaccines on the market and the existence of a probable link between this vaccine and thrombosis cases.
While health authorities said they "fully agree" with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) that AstraZeneca's vaccine is "safe and effective," Danish Medicines Agency chief Tanja Erichsen emphasized that the final decision on whether to use a product is up to each country.
Referring to the cases of thrombosis, the NBH Director Søren Brostrøm explained that health records show a clear temporal connection between the application of the AstraZeneca vaccine and the appearance of symptoms such as low platelet counts, clots in blood vessels, and bleeding.
The Danish authorities estimated that the risk of contracting these symptoms for those who have received this vaccine is 1 in 40,000; however, this risk is not confined to age groups or gender groups.
Evidence shows that AstraZeneca blood clots are extremely rare, 0.0004%. The benefits far outweigh the risks. Common sense needs to prevail and the vaccination program must continue. pic.twitter.com/AiRRyCQAff
Brostrøm said his country could use the vaccine in the future if the pandemic worsens significantly. For the past month, however, the epidemiological situation has been stable as Denmark last week achieved the third-lowest incidence rate in Europe with 129 new cases per 100,000 people.
The Danish decision means that the 149,000 people who received the first dose from AstraZeneca will receive vaccines from other brands. The vaccination schedule in Denmark will also be delayed by several weeks as the authorities now estimate that the entire population will have been vaccinated by August.
Denmark was the first European country to provisionally suspend the use of AstraZeneca vaccines on March 11. Other countries such as Germany, Spain, and Sweden use this product in people over 60 years of age.
#FromTheSouth News Bits | The rollout of the Astra-Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Latvia has been suspended as health authorities investigate possible serious side effects, such as blood clots. pic.twitter.com/2a6wtuLohI