Denmark Becomes 1st European Country To Cut AstraZeneca Covi
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Denmark announced it would stop using the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine altogether, becoming the first European country to do so over suspected rare but serious side effects. “Denmark’s vaccination campaign will go ahead without the AstraZeneca vaccine,” Danish Health Authority director Soren Brostrom told, despite recommendations from the World Health Organization and Europe’s medicines watchdog to keep using it.

“There is a potential cross-reaction between the vaccine and a low platelet count. We also know that there is a temporal connection. It occurs one week to ten days after the vaccination with AstraZeneca,” Brostrom said.

“The decision is contextual,” said Brostrom. “In Denmark, the majority of the population at risk has been vaccinated and the epidemic is under control. He stressed that he shared the EMA’s assessment that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks. “I can well understand that other countries are using the vaccine,” he added. Denmark’s health authority also said it “may re-introduce the vaccine at a later date if the situation changes”.


While more than a dozen countries followed suit, most have subsequently resumed its use after the European Medicines Agency (EMA), emphasised the benefits of the vaccine, judging it “safe and effective”. South Africa in February excluded the vaccine in February over concerns about its effectiveness against the variant ravaging the country.


In Denmark, two cases of thrombosis, one of them fatal, were linked to vaccinations after more than 140,000 people received the jab made by the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker. According to a medical team at the National Hospital in Oslo in Norway, these atypical cases are due to a powerful immune response triggered by AstraZeneca’s vaccine.

In Denmark, a country of 5.8 million inhabitants, eight percent have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and 17 percent have received the first dose. The suspension of the AstraZeneca jab will delay the country’s ambitious vaccine rollout plans, and those who have received a first dose of the AstraZeneca will be offered another vaccine.

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