Countries halting AstraZeneca vaccine

·2-min read
More than a dozen countries including France, Italy and Germany have suspended AstraZeneca's Covid-19 shots because of fears over blood clots and other possible side effects.

More than a dozen countries including France, Italy and Germany have suspended AstraZeneca's Covid-19 shots because of fears over blood clots and other possible side effects.

While the company insists there is no risk, World Health Organization experts are convening on Tuesday to review the vaccine's safety and the European Medicines Agency will hold a special meeting on Thursday.

Here is a recap:


- Nordic countries sound alarm -

Denmark is the first country on March 11 to say it will suspend use of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a precautionary measure over fears of blood clots in vaccinated people.

Iceland and Norway follow and announce they are temporarily suspending use.

This comes after Austria on March 8 suspended a batch of the vaccine following the death of a 49-year-old nurse from "severe bleeding disorders" days after receiving it.

Several other countries also suspend use of doses from the same batch, which has been delivered to 17 countries and included one million vaccines.


- List grows -

On Friday, Bulgaria suspends the use of the vaccine as it investigates the death of a woman with several underlying conditions who recently received the jab.

An initial probe had suggested the woman died from heart failure and an autopsy found no link with the vaccination.

Thailand briefly delays the start of its rollout of the vaccine, but Premier Prayut Chan-O-Cha then receives the jab on Tuesday as the campaign resumes.

And the Democratic Republic of Congo, also due to start administering doses, postpones its campaign citing "precautionary measures".

Ireland and the Netherlands join the list on Sunday.


- Germany, France, Italy -

Indonesia on Monday says it will "delay" the rollout pending a WHO review into blood clot fears.

In a major development, the German health ministry announces it too is halting the jabs, saying a closer look is necessary.

President Emmanuel Macron follows saying France will suspend use pending a decision on the vaccine's safety by the European Medicines Agency.

Italy then adds itself to the list, along with Slovenia, Spain, Latvia and Venezuela.

Also on Monday, a health worker in Norway dies of a brain haemorrhage after receiving the vaccine, though no direct link to the jab has been established.

It is the second such fatality within a few days in the country.

Luxembourg, Cyprus and Sweden on Tuesday follow the example of now more than a dozen countries suspending the use of the vaccine.