Germany, France, Italy Suspend Use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 Vaccine

Source: WSJ

Countries join others in pausing shots after a small number of cases of blood clotting on the continent

By Jenny Strasburg and Bojan PancevskiUpdated March 15, 2021 4:37 pm ET

Germany, Italy, France and Spain joined the ranks of European countries that have temporarily halted use of the Covid-19 shot made by AstraZeneca PLC over blood-clot concerns, dealing another blow to the continent’s sluggish vaccination rollout and threatening the credibility of the vaccine itself.

A cascade of cautionary pauses that started last week picked up Monday. Denmark was the first to suspend the shots. Ireland, Norway, the Netherlands and Iceland have also said they would wait for Europe’s bloc-wide medicines regulator to investigate a small number of serious blood-clotting issues among people who had received the AstraZeneca shot.

That regulator, the European Medicines Agency, is expected by Thursday to give its verdict on safety and potential risks from a review of the reported cases. The agency on Monday repeated an advisory from last week that for now it is recommending countries keep using the vaccine, saying the benefits outweigh possible risks.

The EMA, which acts much like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in regulating medicine across the European Union, has said there was no evidence of a link between the reported blood clots and the vaccine.

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1 reply

  1. The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged countries not to pause Covid vaccinations, as several major EU countries halted their rollouts of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab.

    It said there was no evidence of a link between the vaccine and blood clots.

    Germany, France, Italy and Spain joined smaller nations in halting vaccinations as a precaution while checks are made.

    The WHO’s vaccine safety experts are meeting on Tuesday to discuss the jab.

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will meet on the same day and is due to draw conclusions on Thursday. It has also said the vaccine should continue to be used.

    There have been a number of cases in Europe of blood clots developing after the vaccine was administered.

    However, experts say these were no more than the number of blood-clot incidents typically reported within the general population.

    About 17 million people in the EU and the UK have received a dose of the vaccine, with fewer than 40 cases of blood clots reported as of last week, AstraZeneca said.

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