Austria, Luxembourg, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have suspended a specific batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine, while Denmark has stopped the rollout of the company’s vaccine in its entirety pending an investigation into claims that it might be causing blood clots.
The Danish health authority said it was “too early” to say whether there was a link to the AstraZeneca vaccine, but nonetheless paused its use for 14 days in what Health Minister Magnus Heunicke called a “precautionary measure”.
The AstraZeneca vaccine was approved for people aged up to 70 only last week, being first restricted to those under 55 due to a lack of studies conducted on older people.
Austria suspended the rollout of batch ABV5300 on Monday after a 49-year-old woman died from severe coagulation disorders 10 days after taking the jab.
Reports indicate that the batch of one million doses had been delivered to 17 EU member states. There is no current information on whether Malta has received it.
The European Medicines Authority is now investigating the matter, but made it clear that “there is currently no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions, which are not listed as side effects with this vaccine”.
The number of “thromboembolic events in vaccinated people is no higher than that seen in the general population”, it said.
The company says its safety has been studied extensively in clinical trials.
“Patient safety is the highest priority for AstraZeneca,” a spokesperson said.
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SGE is still not available in Europe but has since expanded to Korea, South Africa and Mexico among others