The European Medicines Agency has officially launched an investigation into the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine after reports of blood clots in vaccinated people.
Copenhagen’s health minister said authorities were probing whether there was a link between having the vaccine and blood clots, after several cases and one death.
Magnus Heunicke said: ‘At present it can not be concluded whether there is a connection. We are acting early, it must be thoroughly investigated.’
Denmark joins five other countries – Austria, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, and Latvia – who suspended the vaccine after a 49-year-old Austrian woman died of ‘severe blood coagulation problems.’
As well as the woman’s death, another three cases of blood clotting issues had been reported in Austria from people who had taken the vaccine.
One of those patients, a 35-year-old woman, developed a pulmonary embolism – a blockage of an artery on the lung – but is now recovering.
The EU’s medicines watchdog yesterday announced that they had found no link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and the 49-year-old Austrian woman’s death. Incidents of clotting have not been reported in the UK as of yet.
The Danish Health and Medicines Authority has suspended the use of the vaccine in Denmark for at least 14 days while investigations are being carried out. They haven’t yet given a full tally of how many blood clots there had been.
As of 9 March, 22 cases of thromboembolic events had been reported among the three million people vaccinated with the vaccine in the European Economic Area.
Søren Brostrøm, director of the National Board of Health said: “We are in the middle of the largest and most important vaccination rollout in Danish history.
“And right now we need all the vaccines we can get. Therefore, putting one of the vaccines on pause is not an easy decision.
“It is important to emphasize that we have not opted out of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but that we are putting it on hold.
An AstraZeneca spokesperson said “Patient safety is the highest priority for AstraZeneca.
“Regulators have clear and stringent efficacy and safety standards for the approval of any new medicine, and that includes COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.
“The safety of the vaccine has been extensively studied in Phase III clinical trials and Peer-reviewed data confirms the vaccine has been generally well tolerated.”
Oxford University declined to comment on the reports.