Denmark suspends use of AstraZeneca vaccine

Denmark is suspending the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for 14 days as it investigates reports of some patients developing blood clots after being inoculated, days after several other EU countries suspended use of a specific batch of the vaccine.

Danish Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said Thursday authorities were looking into “signs of a possible serious side effect in the form of fatal blood clots,” though he made clear it was a “precautionary measure,” saying it was not possible yet to conclude whether the clots were linked to the vaccine. 

“We act early, it needs to be thoroughly investigated,” he said in a tweet.

The Danish Medicines Agency also confirmed the investigation on Thursday in a statement, saying it would work with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the other EU pharmaceutical authorities following the reports. 

“One report relates to a death in Denmark,” the statement added.

“We do not yet know whether the blood clots and the Danish death are due to the vaccine, but it must now be thoroughly examined for safety,” said Tanja Erichsen from the Danish agency.

Earlier this week, Austria suspended the use of one specific batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine — batch ABV5300 — after “a person was diagnosed with multiple thrombosis,” according to the EU’s medicines regulator, the EMA.

As of Tuesday, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Latvia had also suspended use of batch ABV5300.

It has not been specified if the Danish death was connected to this batch.

On Wednesday, the EMA said there was “currently no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions, which are not listed as side effects with this vaccine.”

The EMA statement added: “Batch ABV5300 was delivered to 17 EU countries and comprises 1 million doses of the vaccine. Some EU countries have also subsequently suspended this batch as a precautionary measure, while a full investigation is ongoing. Although a quality defect is considered unlikely at this stage, the batch quality is being investigated.”

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