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AstraZeneca vaccine suspended in 11 European countries

Published on 16/03/21 at 10:42am

Blood clot fears have caused 11 European countries to suspend the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

France, Germany, Italy, and Spain were the latest countries to halt the use of the jab after reports of deaths and hospitalisations due to clotting, following the vaccine’s administration.

However, AstraZeneca said that the 37 reports of clots are actually below the level you would expect among the general population.

Stating on Monday that its review of safety data found no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, or thrombocytopenia, in any defined age group, gender, batch, or in any particular country.

The WHO and EMA are both investigating the reports of clots and on Monday a WHO spokesperson said that there was “no evidence” that the incidents were linked to the vaccine.

The EMA is likely to issue its decision on the use of the vaccine on Thursday, but has suggested that the vaccine should continue to be administered.

Health Secretary Dominic Raab echoed these sentiments, saying on BBC Breakfast: “It is safe. People should get the vaccine.

“What is clear, and we have gone through this very carefully during the trials but also now given our experience of the roll-out – there is no additional risk from taking the vaccine and people should continue to take the vaccine. It is a life-saving step to take.”

Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic, and Ukraine have all stated they would continue to administer the vaccine.

On Tuesday, Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha became the first person in the country to receive the AstraZeneca inoculation following a brief suspension of the vaccine.

Mr Prayuth said: "Today I'm boosting confidence for the general public," before receiving the jab in his left arm.

Kat Jenkins

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