Denmark has suspended the use of the Oxford AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine while it investigates possible serious side effects. Health officials say they have received reports of fatal blood clots, but it is not yet known whether there is a connection to the injection.
The authorities say they are ‘acting early’ to fully investigate the reports. The country’s health minister, Magnus Heunicke, tweeted: ‘The health authorities have, due to precautionary measures, suspended vaccination with AstraZeneca following a signal of a possible serious side effect in the form of fatal blood clots.
It is currently not possible to conclude whether there is a connection. We act early, it needs to be thoroughly investigated.’ The Oxford jab is among a number of vaccines, including the Pfizer jab, which have been in use across Europe since being approved by the European Medical Agency.
It comes after EU leaders – particularly in France and Germany – have been criticised for casting doubts over the Oxford jab. Germany announced last week it is set to open up the vaccine for use in people over 65.
This is a U-turn for the country after it previously only recommended it for younger people due to what was seen as a lack of data. The AstraZeneca vaccine is generally approved in the EU – and therefore in Germany – for people aged 18 and over. But Germany is now expected to recommend it for older people, saying new studies now show it is effective.