AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Suspended in Multiple Countries

By McKenzie Carpenter Friday, March 12, 2021

Now that the COVID-19 vaccine rollout has begun around the world, many people have already received a dose or two of the shot. However, the vaccine from pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has been suspended in several countries around the world due to evidence of blood clots.

Doctor drawing COVID-19 vaccine from its bottle.

Pharmaceutical Company Vaccine Suspension

Today, it was reported that the vaccine created by the pharmaceutical business and the University of Oxford is being suspended in many different European and Asian countries. The vaccine pause comes after reports that the pharmaceutical business’s shot is causing its recipients’ blood clots. In just the last week or so, Bulgaria, Italy, Thailand, and other European nations suspended entire rollouts or certain batches of AstraZeneca’s vaccine over risk concerns.

The European Medicines Agency, or EMA, reported that of the 5 million people inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine on March 10, there were 30 reported cases of thromboembolic events.

Regarding concerns around the vaccine developed by the pharmaceutical company, the EMA stated, “There is currently no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions, which are not listed as side effects with this vaccine. The position of EMA’s safety committee PRAC [Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee] is that the vaccine’s benefits continue to outweigh its risks and the vaccine can continue to be administered while investigation of cases of thromboembolic events is ongoing.”

For now, the EMA will continue to monitor the AstraZeneca vaccine rollout and its recipients’ side effects. Reuters reported that the World Health Organization, or WHO, has assembled an advisory committee to monitor the situation as well.

In response to the reports of blood clots and growing concerns around the pharmaceutical company’s vaccine, the business said, “...The safety of the vaccine has been extensively studied in Phase III clinical trials and peer-reviewed data confirms the vaccine is generally well tolerated.”

CNBC reported that elsewhere around the world, the UK, France, Australia, Canada, and Mexico have continued their inoculation campaigns to reassure people the pharmaceutical business vaccine is safe and they too should get vaccinated.

US COVID-19 Vaccine News

The AstraZeneca vaccine may have begun rollout around the world, but it has not quite hit the US market. US clinical trials are still underway for AstraZeneca’s vaccine, with tens of millions of doses waiting in manufacturing facilities. Additionally, the business has not filed for emergency use and authorization with the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA.

NPR reported that 97.5 million vaccine doses have already been administered in the US — 18.8% of the US population. There are currently two vaccines available in the US, each from pharmaceutical and biotech businesses, Pfizer and Moderna. A third vaccine created by medical device company Johnson & Johnson was approved on February 27 by the FDA.

About the Author

Headshot of McKenzie Carpenter

McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

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