Denmark and Ireland on Thursday became the latest countries to join a long list of European countries that have suspended the use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine.
Earlier, Norway, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Luxembourg have stopped the use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine after some patients developed blood clots since receiving the jab.
The move comes "following reports of serious cases of blood clots among people vaccinated with AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine", the Danish Health Authority said in a statement. But it cautiously added that "it has not been determined, at the time being, that there is a link between the vaccine and the blood clots". Nevertheless, it asked the regional authorities in charge of vaccine rollout to stop using the AstraZeneca jab until further notice, the report said.
The report added that there is "good evidence that the vaccine is both safe and effective", but that it would consult with the Danish medicines agency in two weeks on the matter. "It is important to point out that we have not terminated the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, we are just pausing its use," Danish Health Authority Director Soren Brostrom said in the statement.
Austria had on Monday announced that it had suspended the use of a batch of AstraZeneca vaccines after a 49-year-old nurse died of "severe blood coagulation problems" days after receiving the jab.
Incidentally, the same batch of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccines have been sent to 17 European countries and consisted of one million jabs.
However, Spanish Health Minister Carolina Darias on Thursday had said that it has not registered any cases of blood clots related to AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine so far and will continue administering the shots. Darias said she had been informed of cases of blood clots among recently vaccinated people in Austria, but added that "so far, no causal relation between the vaccine and the blood clot events has been established", and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) was evaluating the situation.
According to EMA, 22 cases of blood clots had been reported among more than three million people vaccinated in the European Economic Area as of March 9. "There is currently no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions, which are not listed as side effects with this vaccine," EMA said.
"EMA’s safety committee PRAC is reviewing this issue; it is investigating the cases reported with the batch as well as all other cases of thromboembolic events, and other conditions related to blood clots, reported post-vaccination. The information available so far indicates that the number of thromboembolic events in vaccinated people is no higher than that seen in the general population," it added.
(With IANS and AFP inputs)