Covid19 – France, Italy and Germany suspend AstraZeneca vaccine

Covid19 - France, Italy and Germany suspend AstraZeneca vaccine

Covid19 – France, Italy and Germany suspend AstraZeneca vaccine

France, Italy and Germany became the latest major European countries to block Astrazeneca’s Covid-19 vaccines over reports of dangerous blood clots in some recipients, though the company and European regulators said there is no evidence the shot is to blame.

The Italian medicines authority said it was taking the decision as a “precautionary and temporary measure” pending rulings by the European Medicines Agency.

Denmark and Norway stopped giving the shot last week after reporting isolated cases of bleeding, blood clots and a low platelet count. Iceland and Bulgaria followed suit and Ireland and the Netherlands announced suspensions on Sunday. 

Spain will stop using the vaccine for at least 15 days, Cadena Ser radio reported, citing unnamed sources. About 17 million people in the EU and the UK have received a dose of the vaccine, with fewer than 40 cases of blood clots reported as of last week, AstraZeneca said.

Professor Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford vaccine group that developed the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab, told the BBC’s Today programme there was “very reassuring evidence that there is no increase in a blood clot phenomenon here in the UK, where most of the doses in Europe [have] been given so far”.