The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is being suspended across Europe after reports of blood clots in some recipients. The company and health regulators say there is no evidence that the vaccine causes blood clots.
“Today’s decision is a purely precautionary measure,” Jen Spahn said.
The vaccine is suspended in Demark, Ireland, Thailand, the Netherlands, Norway, Iceland, Congo, and Bulgaria. AstraZeneca will apply for authorization in the United States in the coming weeks. According to the Associated Press, AstraZeneca said there have been 37 reports of blood clots out of more than 17 million people vaccinated in 27 countries across the European Union and Britain.
“Many thousands of people develop blood clots annually in the EU for different reasons,” the European Medicines Agency said.
Dr. Michael Head, a senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton in England said the decision to suspend the vaccine without any data is “baffling.”
“Halting a vaccine rollout during a pandemic has consequences,” Head said. ” This results in delays in protecting people, and the potential for increased vaccine hesitancy, as a result of people who have seen the headlines and understandably become concerned.”
According to the Associated Press, Germany has administered over half of the 3 million doses it received from AstraZeneca, and 940,000 people in Spain have received the shot.