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More EU Nations Suspend the Use of AstraZeneca Vaccines

by Jay Ahon / Mar 16, 2021 05:16 AM EDT
A photograph of AstraZeneca vaccine vial.

Germany, France, and Italy have joined other smaller European nations in suspending the rollout of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccines. The decision was made after series of deaths were reported involving blood clots.

On Monday, the health ministry of Germany announced that it would stop the rollout of the said vaccine following the recommendation of the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI). Later, French President Emmanuel Macron also announced France's suspension of the vaccine until advised otherwise by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Moreover, the medicine agency of Italy had extended its ban beginning from individual batches of the vaccines to the rest of the country.

The decisions came not long after the Netherlands also suspended until March 29, the use of the said vaccine as a "precaution."

World Health Organization (WHO) Spokesperson Christian Lindmeier said that the organization had been investigating the reports and that as soon as they gained a full understanding of the incidents, the "findings and any unlikely changes" to their recommendations currently will be communicated to the public immediately.

He added that there is still no evidence yet of the correlation between the incidents and the AstraZeneca vaccine and emphasized the importance of continuous vaccination campaigns to save lives and "stem severe disease from the virus."

Earlier, various countries from the region such as the Irish Republic, Denmark, Norway, Bulgaria, and Iceland had also ceased the vaccination campaign temporarily, while other countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Southeast Asian country Indonesia have postponed the rollout launch.

Several countries from Europe, including Austria, had suspended various batches of the vaccine as a precautionary measure.

Despite the second thoughts of other nations, Thailand announced the launch of the same vaccine on Tuesday, after the rollout had been delayed for a while due to safety concerns. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also said that he already got assurance from health experts that all vaccines administered in Canada were safe, including AstraZeneca.

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