Denmark temporarily suspends Oxford vaccine over blood clotting concerns

Danish authorities will say the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will be suspended for 14 days; this has pushed the final date of the country’s vaccination programme to August 15

Denmark has imposed a temporary ban of 14 days on the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after reports of blood clots forming in inoculated people came to the fore, Reuters reported quoting Danish authorities on Thursday (March 11).

The Danish Health Authority, however, has not given details about the number of patients affected with blood coagulation.

Danish authorities said six other European countries including Austria have suspended the use of a batch of the COVID vaccine over similar concerns. Austria reported halted a batch of the vaccine after a death from coagulation disorders and an illness from pulmonary embolism were reported.

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“Both we and Danish Medicines Agency have to respond to reports of possible serious side-effects, both from Denmark and other European countries,” said Soren Brostrom, the director of the Danish Health Authority, said in a statement.

“It is important to emphasise that we have not opted out of using the AstraZeneca vaccine, but that we are putting it on hold,” he added.

Due to the vaccine suspension, the final date of the completion of the four-week vaccination programme has been extended to August 15.

The Danish Medicines Agency, meanwhile, has initiated a probe into the vaccine along with agencies in other European countries and the European Medicines Agency.

AstraZeneca maintains that its vaccines are released after “strict and rigorous quality controls”, stressing that there have been “no confirmed serious adverse events associated with the vaccine”. It is reportedly in contact with Austrian authorities to aid in their investigation over the alleged vaccine malfunctioning.

The EMA, on the other hand, has said that no evidence has been found to attribute the death and illness in Austria to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

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