Iceland has become the latest European nation to suspend the AstraZeneca jab.
The tiny island nation has confirmed roughly 6,000 COVID cases since the start of the pandemic, which is roughly 2% of the population.
Meanwhile, the EMA (the European equivalent of the FDA) confirmed that it has counted no fewer than 30 incidents of harmful blood clots in patients who received the vaccine, including at least one case in Denmark where the patient died.
The reason for halting the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is due to reports of serious blood clots after vaccination.
As per tweet of writer and skeptic Alex Berenson, this is not the only vaccine that causes adverse effects.
Alex Berenson tweeted “Just wait until they hear what the mRNA vaccines can do… Really, though, the side effect profile of the @astrazeneca vaccine is hardly worse than the mRNA shots, but somehow it has faced much more scrutiny. Follow the politics, I mean science.”
Health minister of Denmark confirmed the suspension of AstraZeneca Jabs via tweet. He said “there’s currently no ways to know for certain whether the cases of serious blood clots are connected to the vaccine, but the situation certainly warrants more investigation. We acted early, it needs to be thoroughly investigated.”
Italian PM Mario Draghi halted a shipment of AstraZeneca jabs to Australia. Health authorities in Italy are suspending jabs from current batch of vaccine. On the other hand, health authorities in London and Brussels dismissed these issues, insisting that this vaccine is safe while going with plans to approve Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose jab.
The EU medicines regulator said it was recommending the vaccine be authorized for all adults over 18 “after a thorough evaluation” of JNJ’s data found the vaccine met the criteria for efficacy, safety and quality. The JNJ jab is the fourth to be licensed for use inside the EU.
Health authorities in Denmark are so much worried about the adverse side effects believed to be related with AstraZeneca vaccine. Now Danish authorities also suspended AstraZeneca shot on Thursday. Many patients have reported cases of blood clots they received after getting vaccinated. This suspension will last for 2 weeks.
As per European medicines agency, there are no evidences that link blood clots with the vaccine. The company said only 22 cases of adverse events have been noticed and approx 3M people have been vaccinated.
One investor claimed Denmark’s suspension of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on blood clot concerns shows “the detection systems that look for potential safety issues are working,” and that most of these “safety events” would ultimately be linked to natural processes, not the jab.
“It’s good to see the safety signal detection systems working and it’s important that any safety signal is followed-up using the correct protocols,” Shore analyst Adam Barker told Bloomberg. Data from the vaccine’s phase three trials suggests that “you would expect that most safety signals won’t ultimately be linked to the vaccine,” he said.
However, “it’s hard to make judgments on the impact on shareholder value,” he added, given there are “a lot of moving parts.” But ultimately, a risk-reward trade-off with any therapy; “you can only confidently make judgments on that decision when all the data is finalized and clear”.
But on Friday a WHO spokeswoman said there was no link between the jab and an increased risk of developing a clot.
Margaret Harris said it was an “excellent vaccine” and should continue to be used.
Around 5 million Europeans have already received the AstraZeneca jab.
There have been about 30 cases in Europe of “thromboembolic events” – or developing blood clots – after the vaccine was administered. There were also reports that a 50-year-old man had died in Italy after developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
The WHO is investigating the reports, as it does any safety questions, Harris said.
But no causal relationship had been established between the shot and the health problems reported, she said.
On Friday, AstraZeneca said the recorded number of blood clots in vaccinated people was “significantly lower… than would be expected among the general population”.
“An analysis of our safety data of more than 10 million records has shown no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis,” a spokesperson said.
Bulgaria’s decision to pause its rollout followed similar steps by Denmark, Iceland and Norway as well as Thailand. Italy and Austria have stopped using certain batches of the drug as a precautionary measure.
The European Medicines Agency, the EU’s medicines regulator, said earlier there was no indication the jab was causing the blood clots.
Other countries, including the UK, Germany, Australia and Mexico, have said they are continuing their rollout.
Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn said he disagreed with the countries suspending the vaccinations.
“From what we know so far, the benefit… is far greater than the risk,” he said.
The temporary suspensions come as a setback for a European vaccination campaign that has stuttered into life, partly due to delays in delivery of the doses.
In the latest upset, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz complained that the EU was not distributing coronavirus vaccines fairly among member states – according to population size, as agreed.
He said some countries were striking side deals with vaccine makers instead of leaving procurement to the European Commission.
The German health ministry acknowledged in January that Germany had signed a deal for 30m doses with Pfizer BioNTech in September.