Germany, France, Italy and Spain suspend use of AstraZeneca vaccine due to blood clots


Topline

Germany, France, Italy and Spain temporarily suspended their use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine on Monday, joining a fast-growing wave of countries that halted firing as a precautionary measure in response to concerns about the blood clots.

Highlights

Germany, France and Italy have separately announced that they will suspend the vaccine as a precaution, with regulators continuing to investigate reports of blood clots in a small number of people who received the injections developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

“In order to maintain confidence in the vaccine, we need to give our experts in Germany and the European Union time to examine the latest incidents,” German Health Minister Jens Spahn said at a conference. hurry.

Hours later, Health Minister Carolina Dias announced that Spain would also suspend the AstraZeneca vaccine for two weeks.

The World Health Organization and the European Medicines Agency have urged countries to continue administering the AstraZeneca vaccine as they launch vaccine reviews.

AstraZeneca pointed out in a statement on Sunday that there was no evidence the vaccine caused the blood clots, which they said occurred at a rate “much lower than one would naturally expect in a population. general ”.

Key context

Denmark was the first country to announce a two-week suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Thursday following reports of blood clots, including in a case where a man died 10 days after vaccination. Ireland, Norway, the Netherlands and several other countries have also ended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in recent days. Thailand, the first country outside of Europe to suspend AstraZeneca injections, announced it would resume distribution of the vaccine on Tuesday.

Tangent

The AstraZeneca vaccine has not been approved for emergency use in the United States. While a Food and Drug Administration decision is not expected until new data becomes available, the United States has a contract for 300 million doses of AstraZeneca if approved. The Biden administration said the three vaccines licensed in the United States – Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson – should be available to all Americans by May.

Large number

37: The number of people who developed blood clots after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, out of the 17 million people who received it across the European Union and Britain, according to AstraZeneca.

To monitor

The European Medicines Agency, the block’s drug regulator, is expected to announce its recommendation for the AstraZeneca vaccine on Tuesday afternoon. The agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.



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