The Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine.
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Denmark has announced that it will temporarily stop using the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.
The Danish health authority announced on Thursday that it would temporarily stop using the shot in its vaccination program as a precaution “following reports of severe blood clots in people vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine”. Use is suspended for 14 days.
“With this in mind, the European Medicines Agency has launched an investigation into the AstraZeneca vaccine. One report relates to a death in Denmark. It cannot currently be concluded whether the vaccine is related to the blood clots.” Authority said in a statement Thursday.
The announcement comes after a similar move in Austria earlier this week, where authorities are investigating one person’s death and another person’s illness after receiving doses of the vaccine.
AstraZeneca’s shares were down 2.4% on Thursday.
The Austrian health authorities stopped using batch ABV5300 of the AstraZeneca vaccine after a person was diagnosed with multiple thrombosis (formation of blood clots in blood vessels) and died 10 days after vaccination. Another person was hospitalized with pulmonary embolism after vaccination. “The latter is now recovering,” said the European Medicines Agency on Wednesday.
However, the EMA added that “there is currently no evidence that vaccination caused these conditions that are not listed as side effects with this vaccine.”
The EMA found that the same batch of ABV5300 was shipped to 17 EU countries and comprised 1 million doses of the vaccine.
“Some EU countries have also suspended this batch as a precautionary measure while a full investigation is in progress. Although a quality defect is considered unlikely at this point, the batch quality will be investigated,” said the EMA.
It added that its safety committee was reviewing the issue and “investigated the cases reported with the batch, as well as all other cases of thromboembolic events and other blood clot-related conditions post-vaccination.”
“The information available so far shows that the number of thromboembolic events in vaccinated people is no higher than in the general population. By March 9, 22 cases of thromboembolic events were reported among the 3 million people vaccinated with COVID. 19 Vaccine AstraZeneca in the European Economic area, “said the EMA.
Trust in the UK and the EU
In late clinical studies, the AstraZeneca / Oxford University shot was found to have an average of 70% effectiveness in protecting against the virus. A recent study by Oxford researchers found that the Covid vaccine was 76% effective at preventing symptomatic infection for three months after a single dose and that the effectiveness rate actually increased with a longer interval between the first and second dose.
AstraZeneca / University of Oxford vaccine is widely used in the launch of vaccination in the UK and the European Union. The UK has so far vaccinated over 22 million people with a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine and is currently only using the AstraZeneca and Pfizer / BioNTech shots.