Denmark on Wednesday turned the primary nation to plan to completely cease administering the AstraZeneca vaccine, a month after suspending its use following reports that a small number of recipients had developed a uncommon however critical blood-clotting dysfunction.
The director basic of the nation’s well being authority, Soeren Brostroem, mentioned Denmark was in a position to halt use of the vaccine as a result of it had the pandemic beneath 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 straightforward to retailer and comparatively low-cost, and was anticipated to be the inspiration of vaccination campaigns around the globe.
The nation initially suspended the use of the vaccine on March 11, together with Iceland and Norway. A number of different European nations, together with France, Germany and Italy, adopted go well with final month.
The European Union’s drug regulator, the European Medicines Company, later recommended that countries keep using the vaccine, saying its advantages far outweighed any potential dangers for most individuals.
Final week, although, the European regulator listed blood clots as a potential very rare side effect of the vaccine.
A number of nations that had paused and restarted use of the vaccine have since mentioned they’d cease utilizing it in youthful individuals. Britain, which has administered round 20 million AstraZeneca doses, mentioned it might provide different vaccines to individuals beneath 30.
“Primarily based on the scientific findings, our total evaluation is there’s a actual danger of extreme unwanted effects related to utilizing the Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca,” Dr. Brostroem, the Danish well being official, said in a statement. “We’ve got, due to this fact, determined to take away the vaccine from our vaccination program.”
“If Denmark have been in a very totally different state of affairs and within the midst of a violent third outbreak, for instance, and a well being care system beneath strain,” he added, “then I’d not hesitate to make use of the vaccine, even when there have been uncommon however extreme problems related to utilizing it.”
Danish well being officers mentioned that they may reintroduce the AstraZeneca vaccine “if the state of affairs adjustments.”
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 observe that amongst seven million individuals vaccinated with the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the US, six ladies had developed the uncommon blood clots — fewer than one in a single million. It’s not but identified whether or not the vaccine had something to do with the clots, however even when it did, the chance is smaller than that of getting struck by lightning in a given 12 months (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.
Nearly a million individuals within the nation have obtained 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. Round 15 p.c obtained a primary dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine earlier than the authorities suspended its use final month, and the remaining eight p.c obtained the Moderna vaccine.
The nation’s well being authorities mentioned that individuals who obtained a primary dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine could be provided a special vaccine for his or her second dose.
Jasmina Nielsen contributed reporting.