A growing number of European nations have suspended the use of AstraZeneca vaccine over health fears. There were several reports of unusual blood clots occurring in those who received vaccination in Norway. Following the reports, Norway, Demark, Iceland, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Thailand, and Ireland joined in to stop people from receiving AstraZeneca shots.
The company agreed to review the safety data of more than 17 million people vaccinated in the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK).
Suspending AstraZeneca Vaccine As A Precaution
The reports also said that the direct link between AstraZeneca Vaccine and blood clotting has not been confirmed. However, Austria reported death from coagulation disorders and upon investigation, it abandoned its entire batch of AstraZeneca. The health committee did not conclude anything but temporarily stopped the usage.
Many disease control officers regretted this precautionary decision because it hindered the drive to vaccinate as many people as possible to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Oxford-AstraZeneca has been the second most hopeful vaccine amid the COVID crises after Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The Company Responds
After reviewing the reports, the company said that the evidence it found did not suggest the AstraZeneca vaccine as the cause of blood clots. There was no evidence from the safety data that suggested an increased risk of blockages like pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, or thrombocytopenia.
The company implied that it was likely that some of those who received this vaccine might have an issue of blood clotting already. Health regulators (including WHO) echoed the same view that vaccination by AstraZeneca did not cause reported incidents.
The pharmaceutical company acknowledged that there have been few incidents in the past. There were at least 15 cases of deep vein thrombosis and 22 events of pulmonary embolism. The drugmaker explained that it was a normal occurrence as other licensed COVID-19 vaccines also faced such medical conditions.
The company and the European health authorities are conducting additional tests to make sure the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe to use. Health regulators have reported that none of the re-tests identified any cause for concern. AstraZeneca Ltd will make the monthly safety report public on the EMA website next week.
The said vaccine was developed by the collaboration of AstraZeneca with Oxford University. It has been authorized for use in the EU, UK and many other countries excluding the U.S.