Denmark has extended its suspension of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine for three weeks, while officials continue to investigate reports that it causes blood clots. The country initially halted its use of the vaccine on March 11th, along with a host of other countries which have since decided to resume their AZ jab rollouts following the European Medicines Agency’s announcement that it is “safe and effective”. Sky News has the story.
On March 11th, Denmark joined Norway, Austria, Italy and Iceland to suspend the use of the vaccine after reports of blood blots.
Originally the rollout of the coronavirus jab was paused for 14 days as a precautionary measure but Danish officials said on March 25th that this has been extended by three weeks as they conducted their own investigations. …
“Right now, we believe that our basis for making a final decision on the further use of the Covid vaccine by AstraZeneca is too uncertain,” Soeren Brostroem, head of the Danish Health Agency, said.
He said: “Many studies have been launched, but we do not yet have any conclusions. That is why we have decided to extend the break.”
Hesitancy remains due to suspicion that the AZ jab may be linked to “very rare blood clot cases”.
The Danish Health and Medicines Authority took the decision to stop using the jab after reports that a 60 year-old woman died with blood clots in several parts of her body a week after she received the vaccine.
A second person died in Demark after getting the jab, but health authorities said that they have no evidence the vaccine was responsible for either death.
The decision “was made on the basis of presumed side effects”, Tanja Erichsen of the Danish Medicines Agency said.
“I would like to emphasise that I am not talking about ordinary blood clots,” Ms Erichsen said.
“It is not about blood clots in the arms, legs and lungs.
“It can’t be ruled out that there is a connection between the vaccine and the very rare blood clot cases.”
A recent survey of 1,053 Danes suggests that, regardless of the result of these further tests, concerns about the vaccine are now widespread in Denmark. Far more Danes would decline to get an AstraZeneca Covid vaccine than would refuse to get a Covid jab altogether, showing that hesitancy is not simply the product of general vaccine scepticism. Reuters reports:
One in three Danes would decline to get a Covid shot using AstraZeneca’s vaccine, local media outlets TV 2 and Politiken reported late on Wednesday, citing a recent survey. …
The survey, conducted by Megafon among 1,053 persons, showed 33% of Danes would decline to get a shot with AstraZeneca’s vaccine. However, only 7% would decline regardless of which Covid vaccine they were offered.
The Sky News report is worth reading in full.