Six European countries suspend use of AstraZeneca vaccine

Six European countries have temporarily suspended use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine following reports of blood clots and one death after inoculation.

A 49-year-old woman in Austria died from multiple blood clots after taking the vaccine 10 days earlier. And then another person who received a shot from the same vaccine batch was also hospitalised for a blood clot in the lung.

After noticing similar reactions in a small number of its vaccinated population, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Luxemburg have also stopped using the batch.

However, the Danish health authority said it was too early to say whether there was a link to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The suspension of the use of the drugs by these six countries has prompted the company to say there was no indication the vaccine caused blood clots.

The company says its safety has been studied extensively in clinical trials.

“Patient Safety is the highest priority for AstraZeneca,” a spokesperson said.

“Regulators have clear and stringent efficacy and safety standards for the approval of any new medicine, and that includes Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.”

Peer-reviewed data confirmed it had been “generally well tolerated”, the statement added.

Jamaica recently received its first shipment of 50,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from India. It commenced its vaccination programme on Wednesday, March 10.

Related story: Nurse gets first COVID-19 vaccine shot in Jamaica