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COVID-19: Denmark extends suspension of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine for 3 weeks | World News

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Denmark has extended its suspension of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab for three weeks, as officials continue to investigate reports that it causes blood clots.

On 11 March, 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 25 March that this has been extended by three weeks as they conducted their own investigations.

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Most European countries resumed immunisation programmes after the European Union’s medicines watchdog deemed it safe and effective.

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‘AstraZeneca vaccine is safe’, says EU regulator

“Right now, we believe that our basis for making a final decision on the further use of the COVID-19 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.”

Nordic countries, including Denmark and Sweden, remain cautious and are conducting their own investigations.

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.

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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.”

The suspension will last until 18 April.

About 150,000 people in Denmark have received the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Sweden had also suspended the rollout but it announced on 25 March that it will begin vaccinating over 65s again.

The AstraZeneca rollout in the EU has been bumpy due to shortages, delays and concerns from some states over its use in over 65s.

On 24 March, AstraZeneca hit back at claims that it had stockpiled 29 million doses of the vaccine in a factory near Rome.

The development comes as the European Commission calls for tougher controls on coronavirus vaccine exports to Britain and other areas with much higher vaccination rates.

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