Syringe with AstraZeneca vaccine
Photo: Liselotte Sabroe / Ritzau Scanpix / imago images
Denmark wants to take even more time to review a possible link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and rare thromboses.
The country will suspend vaccination with the vaccine for three more weeks, it said on Thursday.
The decision was made on the basis of suspected side effects, said the chairman of the Danish Medicines Agency Tanja Erichsen at a press conference.
Denmark stopped vaccinations with AstraZeneca on March 11, after a 60-year-old woman died of unusual blood clots a week after the vaccination.
Shortly thereafter, the death of a second person was reported in Denmark who had previously received the AstraZeneca vaccine.
At the time, the country had vaccinated around 150,000 people with the drug.
The Danish authorities emphasized that there is still no reliable information that the vaccine was responsible for one of the deaths.
However, it cannot be ruled out that there is a connection.
The suspected side effect is limited to a very rare form of thrombosis in which important vessels in the brain clog, the so-called sinus vein thrombosis.
It's not about ordinary blood clots in the arms, legs or lungs, said Erichsen.
Most states are vaccinating again - including Germany
In Europe, many countries had suspended vaccinations with AstraZeneca for a few days after further data, including from Germany, had confirmed the suspicion of a link between the vaccination and the thrombosis.
The European Medicines Agency Ema stuck to its recommendation of the drug after an investigation of the cases.
Most countries - including Germany - ended the vaccination ban again.
The experts at Ema could not rule out a connection between the vaccination and the rare thrombosis.
However, there are significantly greater dangers from Covid-19, said Ema boss Emer Cooke.
She described the vaccination as "safe and effective".
However, according to the recommendations, people who will be vaccinated with AstraZeneca should be educated about the potential risk.
"We still believe that the basis for a final decision on the further use of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine is too uncertain," said Søren Brostrøm, head of the Danish health authority, the decision.
“A lot of studies have been started but we haven't got any results yet.
For this reason we have decided to extend the break. «According to the new decisions, the vaccination ban in Denmark will initially last until April 18.
irb / AP