Denmark Suspends the Use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

By Adriaan Brits Thursday, March 11, 2021

Denmark said it has temporarily halted the use of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

AstraZeneca office in San Francisco.

Fears Over Cases of Blood Clots

Due to “reports of severe cases of blood clots in people who have been vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca,” the country’s state-owned entity Danish Health Authority announced it would preventively halt using the pharmaceutical company’s vaccination.

“Against this background, the European Medicines Agency has launched an investigation into the AstraZeneca vaccine. One report relates to a death in Denmark. At present, it cannot be concluded whether there is a link between the vaccine and the blood clots,” said the Danish Health Authority.

The statement did not point out how many of these cases have been reported or where they had originated. The move comes after the Austrian government made a similar announcement about the COVID-19 vaccine earlier this week, where authorities are investigating the death of an individual and the illness after AstraZeneca's vaccine was administered.

AstraZeneca stock slid 2.1% in London on Thursday. The pharmaceutical company has a market capitalization of £92.50 billion ($129.0 billion).

AstraZeneca’s spokesperson said the company was aware of the cases and has started an investigation about potential negative effects caused by its vaccine.

“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 is generally well tolerated.” the company said.

Søren Brostrøm, Director General of Danish Health Authority, said the 14-day suspension of AstraZeneca’s vaccine was a precautionary measure until the investigation is completed. He emphasized that the Danish Health Authority has not completely ruled out AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine as there is “good evidence” that the vaccine is safe, but rather put it on hold until the reported cases are investigated.

The Austrian health authority has also halted the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine after an individual sustained multiple thromboses and died 10 days after receiving the shot, while another patient was hospitalized and diagnosed with pulmonary embolism.

Summary

Denmark’s health authority has temporarily halted the use of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford after multiple reports of severe blood clots in people who received the vaccine.

About the Author


Headshot for author Adriaan Brits
As an analyst of global affairs, Adriaan has an MSC from Oxford, with diverse interests in the digital economy, entertainment, and business. He is a specialist trainer in Advanced Analytics & Media.

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