Denmark has stopped using the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine due to concerns that it may cause rare cases of blood clots, being the first European country to take this step completely.
This step is expected to delay the Coronavirus vaccination program in this country for several weeks.
And last week, the European Medicines Agency announced a possible relationship with rare blood clots occurring in those who had received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, but it said that the risk of death from the Covid-19 epidemic is much greater.
Several European countries have previously temporarily suspended the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
Most European countries have resumed the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, but this vaccine is mostly restricted to older age groups.
On Tuesday, the United States, Canada and the European Union stopped using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for the same reasons that this vaccine may cause blood clots.
South Africa has also stopped using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, although it prefers it to other vaccines because of its effectiveness against the mutated strain that appeared in it, which is known as the South African strain.
For AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, the side effects of blood clots remain extremely rare.
The World Health Organization criticized the very slow introduction of the vaccine in the European Union countries, and there are concerns that these delays will lead to more disruptions.
The two vaccines work in the same way and are known as adenovirus vectors.
Why has Denmark decided to stop using the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine?
Danish officials said all 2.4 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will be withdrawn until further notice.
The Danish Health Authority said that studies detected blood clots occurring at a rate higher than expected after taking the dose, adding that it included 40,000 people.
And the French Press Agency reported that Denmark’s decision comes after recording two cases of blood clotting related to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. One case concerned the death of a 60-year-old woman.
“It was a difficult decision,” said Søren Brøstrom, director of the Danish Health Authority, but Denmark has other vaccines, and the epidemic is still under control.
He added, “The age groups that will be targeted in the future with the vaccine are less likely to be severely affected by the Covid-19 epidemic.”
He continued: “We must balance this with the fact that we now know that there is a known risk of severe side effects resulting from vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine, even if the risk is absolutely small.”
But the Danish Health Authority said it could not rule out the use of the vaccine at another time.
Tanga Erickson, director of the Danish Medicines Agency, fainted during a press conference and was taken to hospital as a precaution. The agency said in a tweet later that she had recovered.
About one million people have been vaccinated in Denmark, including nearly 150,000 people who have been given the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Pfizer / Bionic vaccine and the Moderna vaccine are also used.