Denmark on Wednesday grew to become the first nation to plan to permanently cease administering the AstraZeneca vaccine, a month after suspending its use following reports that a small number of recipients had developed a uncommon however severe blood-clotting dysfunction.
The director basic of the nation’s well being authority, Soeren Brostroem, stated Denmark was in a position to halt use of the vaccine as a result of it had the pandemic underneath management and will depend on two different vaccines, from Pfizer and Moderna.
The Danish announcement is one other setback for the AstraZeneca shot, which is simple to retailer and comparatively low cost, and was anticipated to be the basis of vaccination campaigns round the world.
The nation initially suspended the use of the vaccine on March 11, together with Iceland and Norway. Several different European nations, together with France, Germany and Italy, adopted swimsuit final month.
The European Union’s drug regulator, the European Medicines Agency, later recommended that countries keep using the vaccine, saying its advantages far outweighed any potential dangers for most individuals.
Last week, although, the European regulator listed blood clots as a potential very rare side effect of the vaccine.
Several nations that had paused and restarted use of the vaccine have since stated they’d cease utilizing it in youthful folks. Britain, which has administered round 20 million AstraZeneca doses, stated it will provide different vaccines to folks underneath 30.
“Based on the scientific findings, our overall assessment is there is a real risk of severe side effects associated with using the Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca,” Dr. Brostroem, the Danish well being official, said in a statement. “We have, therefore, decided to remove the vaccine from our vaccination program.”
“If Denmark were in a completely different situation and in the midst of a violent third outbreak, for example, and a health care system under pressure,” he added, “then I would not hesitate to use the vaccine, even if there were rare but severe complications associated with using it.”
Danish well being officers stated that they could reintroduce the AstraZeneca vaccine “if the situation changes.”
Public well being officers have warned that pausing administration of vaccines like AstraZeneca’s or Johnson & Johnson’s may do extra hurt than good. They notice that amongst seven million folks vaccinated with the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the United States, six girls had developed the uncommon blood clots — fewer than one in a single million. It is just not but identified whether or not the vaccine had something to do with the clots, however even when it did, the threat is smaller than that of getting struck by lightning in a given yr (one in 500,000).
Denmark, which has a inhabitants of 5.eight million, has managed to include the pandemic higher than its neighbor Sweden or many different European nations. As of Wednesday, Denmark had recorded 2,447 Covid-related deaths.
Almost a million folks in the nation have acquired a minimum of a primary dose of a vaccine, 77 p.c of them the one from Pfizer, in accordance with Denmark’s Serum Institute. Around 15 p.c acquired a primary dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine earlier than the authorities suspended its use final month, and the remaining eight p.c acquired the Moderna vaccine.
The nation’s well being authorities stated that individuals who acquired a primary dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine could be supplied a distinct vaccine for his or her second dose.
Jasmina Nielsen contributed reporting.