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Coronavirus: the list of countries that have suspended the AstraZeneca vaccine

The Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical group says there is “no evidence of an increased risk” of a blood clot caused by its vaccine.

PAlmost a dozen countries have suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19 as a precaution, after the reporting of “possible” side effects but without a proven link at this stage.

The Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical group says there is “no evidence of an increased risk” of a blood clot caused by its vaccine, while the World Health Organization (WHO) believes there is ” no reason not to use this vaccine.

Denmark was the first country on Thursday to suspend AstraZeneca’s vaccine “after reports of serious blood clots” in people vaccinated. It was quickly followed by Iceland. Norway also suspended injections of this vaccine on Thursday, also as a precaution. Several cases of blood clots in vaccinated adults have been reported there, but again without any link having been proven yet.

In addition, Norwegian health authorities expressed concern on Saturday about cases of skin bleeding in relatively young people who received a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. If no link has yet been established, “this is serious and may be a sign of a decrease in the number of platelets,” warned the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

In the wake of the Nordic countries

Bulgaria announced on Friday the suspension “as a precaution” of AstraZeneca vaccine injections the day after the decisions taken by the three Nordic countries, while an investigation is underway after the death of a vaccinated woman. However, according to the Minister of Health, “no link has been established” at this stage with the vaccination that occurred the day before this woman, who was overweight and had undergone several coronary bypass operations.

On Sunday, Ireland and the Netherlands also suspended the use of the vaccine, again as a precaution, after cases of blood clots reported in Denmark and Norway.

Delayed vaccination campaign

Thailand and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have delayed the start of their vaccination campaigns with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which were scheduled for Friday and Monday respectively.

Lot suspensions

Austria announced on April 8 to suspend the use of a batch of AstraZeneca vaccine (ABV5300) after a 49-year-old nurse died of “serious blood clotting problems”, a few days after being vaccinated. Four other European countries – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxembourg – have also suspended the use of the vaccines in this million-dose batch, which was sent to 17 European countries.

Italy on Thursday banned the use of another batch, ABV2856, as a precaution over fears of blood clots. Romania has also suspended this lot. The Italian region of Piedmont (north-west of Italy) suspended the AstraZeneca vaccine on Sunday after the death of a teacher, then resumed injections, however excluding as a precaution the batch ABV5811.

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