After Denmark, Norway is now also suspending vaccinations with the vaccine from AstraZeneca and Oxford University out of caution. The Norwegian health institute FHI announced on Thursday. One wants to wait until there is information on whether there is a connection between the vaccine and a death, said FHI director Geir Bukholm, who is responsible for infection protection, at a press conference in Oslo.
Denmark had previously suspended Oxford / AstraZenca vaccine vaccination as a “precautionary measure” after a person died with a blood clot after vaccination. At least five other countries have stopped a batch of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine after reports of blood clots sparked an investigation by European drug regulators, the Financial Times writes.
“Right now we need all the vaccines we can get,” says Soren Brostrom, head of the Danish health authorities. “Suspending a vaccine is not an easy decision.” And further: “Because we vaccinate so many people, it is important that we act quickly in the event of a serious side effect.”
The federal government refers to ongoing investigations at EU level. As things stand, there is still no evidence that a death in Denmark is causally related to a corona vaccination, said a spokesman for the Ministry of Health in Berlin on Thursday. The European drug authorities are currently investigating the case.
The Danish, Austrian and European authorities said no keys could be drawn at this point as to whether there was a link between the vaccine and the blood clots. The European Medicines Agency, EMA, said on Wednesday that there was no “specific issue” with the batch in Austria, where two cases of blood clots were observed after vaccination, including one death.
22 cases of blood clots after vaccination have been reported so far
The drug regulatory agency said two more cases of blood clots had been reported with this batch as of Monday. It is still unclear whether the Danish case can be linked to this batch. The EMA said 22 cases of blood clots had been reported in three million people immunized with the vaccine. “There is currently no evidence that the vaccination caused this condition, as it is not one of the registered side effects.”
Austria, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Latvia have so far stopped the vaccine. AstraZeneca said in the Financial Times that patient safety is their “top priority.” Authorities have clear and stringent efficacy and safety standards for approving a new vaccine, including their vaccine, the company said.
In Austria, a 49-year-old woman died of a severe coagulation disorder, while another 35-year-old developed a pulmonary embolism. Her condition has since improved. Pulmonary embolism is a potentially life-threatening disease in which the lungs collapse. Women had previously received the vaccination.
The batch in question consists of one million cans that have been used in 17 countries in the EU, the EMA said.