Denmark permanently turns back on AstraZeneca – vaccine banned over 'serious side effects'

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The Danish Health Authority confirmed on Wednesday it would no longer use the vaccine due to fears over a link with very rare blood clot cases. It said in a statement: “The Danish Health Authority has decided to continue the vaccination against Covid-19 without the vaccine from AstraZeneca.”

Head of the Danish Health Authority, Soren Brostrom, said it had been a “difficult decision”.

But he said Denmark had other jabs available and the country currently had the virus under control.

He said: “The upcoming target groups for vaccination are less likely to become severely ill from Covid-19.

“We must weigh this against the fact that we now have a known risk of severe adverse effects from vaccination with AstraZeneca, even if the risk in absolute terms is slight.”

The move is expected to delay the country’s vaccine programme by several weeks.

Denmark is the first country to abandon the jab entirely after a string of nations previously suspended its use.

The European Union’s drug watchdog said last week it had found a possible link with blood clots.

But the European Medicines Agency added that the risk of dying from coronavirus was “much greater”.

READ MORE: Denmark bans AstraZeneca vaccine, but will more countries do the same?

Some 77 percent have been administered the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, 7.8 percent with Moderna’s and 15.3 percent with the AstraZeneca shot.

Denmark is in the process of easing lockdown restrictions, with schools, restaurants and shops reopening.

The number of daily cases has plummetted to 500-600 a day from several thousand in December.

But the move to abandon the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab is expected to delay the end of the country’s vaccination rollout from July 25 to early August.

It comes as the rollout of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been paused in Europe amid a US probe into rare blood clots.

The risk of blood clot side effects is very rare for both the Oxford/AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson jabs.



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