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Countries suspending the use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine

Countries suspending the use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine

FILE PHOTO: Vials labelled "Astra Zeneca COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine" and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed AstraZeneca logo, in this illustration photo taken March 14, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

PARIS: The EU's three biggest countries - France, Germany and Italy - are the latest to suspend AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine because of fears over blood clots and other possible side effects, despite the company and the World Health Organization insisting there is no risk. 

Here is a recap:


Denmark is the first country on Mar 11 to say it will suspend use of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a precautionary measure over fears of blood clots in vaccinated people.

Iceland and Norway follow the same day, temporarily suspending use of all their supply of the vaccine.

READ: 3 health workers who received AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in hospital with 'unusual' symptoms, Norway says


A day later, Bulgaria suspends the use of the vaccine as it investigates the death of a woman with several underlying conditions who recently received the jab.

An initial probe had suggested the woman died from heart failure and an autopsy found no link with the vaccination.

Thailand abruptly delays the start of its rollout of the vaccine, stopping Premier Prayut Chan-o-cha from getting the first jab. But the government said on Monday they would start using the AstraZeneca vaccine on Tuesday.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, also due to start administering the vaccine, postpones its campaign citing "precautionary measures".

On Saturday, Norwegian health officials report three more cases of blood clots or brain haemorrhages in younger people who received the jab, but say they cannot yet say they were vaccine related.

Ireland and the Netherlands join the list Sunday, followed by Indonesia and then Germany, Italy and France on Monday.

Announcing its decision, the German health ministry says a closer look is necessary after the reported blood clotting incidents in Europe.

READ: Netherlands halts use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

READ: Germany to halt AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccinations: Health Ministry


The first halt of a batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine is announced by Austria on Mar 8, following the death of a 49-year-old nurse from "severe bleeding disorders" days after receiving it.

Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Luxembourg also suspend the use of doses from the same batch, which has been delivered to 17 countries and included one million vaccines.

Italy's medicines regulator on Mar 11 also bans the use of a batch as a precaution, triggering a similar decision from Romania.

On Mar 14 Italy's northern Piedmont region suspends use of the vaccine after the death of a teacher who had received it the day before, with a national postponement coming a day later.

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Source: AFP/vc


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