Denmark has decided to withdraw the vaccine, which AstraZeneca developed in partnership with the University of Oxford, from its immunization program, becoming the first European country to abandon vaccination. Danish health officials said today that the identification was taken as a precaution for its “rare and serious” side effects.
“Based on the scientific analysis, our overall assessment is that there is a real risk of serious side effects associated with the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19. Therefore, we decided to remove the vaccine from our immunization program,” said Director-General of the Danish Health Authority, Søren Bröström, By statement.
The decision was made distance The European Medicines Agency (EMA), is investigating the relationship between the immune system and blood clots developed by immunized people
Even with that possibility, the EMA did not recommend EU countries to suspend implementation of the ban, saying the cost-benefit is positive. According to the agency, blood clots in immunosuppressed people should be considered a “very rare” side effect of the drug.
The Danish Health Authority said it agrees with the European Agency’s assessment, but stressed that each country should take into account its status in the epidemic and the availability of other vaccines when deciding on AstraZeneca immunity.
“In the midst of an epidemic, it is difficult to continue our vaccination program without effective and readily available immunity against Covid-19. However, we have other vaccines available, and the epidemic is currently under control,” the agency said.
Denmark has bought 2.4 million doses of AstraZeneca and its withdrawal should not affect vaccination for elderly people. With 5.8 million inhabitants, Denmark has nearly 240,000 cases of Covid-19 and nearly 2,500 deaths.
Last Tuesday (13), the country recorded only 563 new cases and three deaths. In addition, 17% of the population has already been partially vaccinated against the new virus Corona Virus, Which is one of the highest percentages in the European Union.
In addition to withdrawing the AstraZeneca vaccine, Denmark has decided to suspend the immunity of Janssen, a newcomer to the country, which is undergoing analysis in the United States. Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration, the US regulatory agency, Recommended suspension of vaccine application.
The EMA says clots are rare effects
Last week, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said that blood clots experienced by people vaccinated with AstraZeneca antiviral immunity should be considered a “very rare” side effect of the drug.
The EMA has demonstrated “a possible link with very rare cases of abnormal blood clots, along with decreased platelet levels”. EMA CEO Emer Cooke explained in a hypothetical press conference that no specific risk factors such as “age, gender, or medical history” have been identified.
“A reasonable explanation for these rare side effects is the immune response to the vaccine,” Cook added, adding that the vaccine “is very effective” and “saves lives.”
As of March 22, 86 cases of venous lumen cerebral thrombosis or visceral venous thrombosis have been reported in a population of 25 million vaccines in Europe, i.e. 0.0003% of the total. For comparison, the lethality rate of Covid-19, which varies from country to country, tends to be between 1% and 4% of all infected.
However, many countries in Europe have restricted its use. Yesterday, Germany announced this Other immunizations will be applied as a second dose for people who initially received AstraZeneca vaccine. Spain, Ireland and France have already stopped using the vaccine in their territories.
(With AFP and EFE)