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Denmark scraps use of AstraZeneca vaccine

By Sean Farrell

Date: Wednesday 14 Apr 2021

Denmark scraps use of AstraZeneca vaccine

(Sharecast News) - Denmark has stopped using AstraZeneca's vaccine in its Covid-19 inoculation programme because of concerns about cases of rare blood clots.

The Danish health authority said the possible link between the vaccine and blood clots and the virus being under control in Denmark led it to be the first EU country to scrap the jab indefinitely.

Denmark paused use of the AstraZeneca vaccine on 11 March. Since then the European Medicines Authority has said there was a link between the jab and blood clots but said the risk was small compared to that of Covid-19. Denmark has also found higher than expected incidents of clots in people who received the AstraZeneca shot, the Danish authority said.

Based on the scientific findings, our overall assessment is there is a real risk of severe side effects associated with using the Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca," General Søren Brostrøm, the authority's director general, said. "We have, therefore, decided to remove the vaccine from our vaccination programme.

"In the midst of an epidemic, it has been a difficult decision to continue our vaccination programme without an effective and readily available vaccine against Covid-19. However, we have other vaccines at our disposal, and the epidemic is currently under control."

All appointments for the AstraZeneca vaccine will be cancelled and people who have had one of the jabs will be invited to have an alternative, the authority said. If the situation changes, Denmark could allow the AstraZeneca vaccine back into its programme.

Several European countries suspended AstraZeneca's vaccine in March along with Denmark but most have restarted using it though often only for older age groups. On Tuesday the US, Canada and the EU paused use of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine, which is similar to AstraZeneca's, because of clotting concerns.

AstraZeneca shares rose 1.7% to £72.86 at 15:21 BST.


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