A number of countries on Friday suspended the distribution of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine after cases of blood clotting were reported in certain places.
After Denmark suspended the AstraZeneca on Thursday, many countries followed suit by Friday amongst them Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Iceland, Bulgaria, Thailand, Norway, Luxembourg and Estonia.
In the meantime, Thailand becomes the first nation in Asia to suspend this covid-19 vaccine that was developed by Britain’s Oxford University and AstraZeneca.
The people that experienced the blood clotting issues were amongst those that received the vaccines from a batch that was manufactured in Europe.
“With this postponement, we are not saying that the vaccine is problematic,” said Dr. Yong Poovorawan, head of Thailand’s Center of Excellence in Clinical Virology at Chulalongkorn University on Friday.
“This postponement is to wait for verification whether there is any implication with the vaccine or that batch of the vaccine. That batch was produced in Europe. We use a batch made in Asia.” He added.
However, the European Medicines Agency on Thursday defended the vaccines, stating that the blood clotting cases have only been reported in 30 cases.
So far, the AstraZeneca vaccine has gotten the approval of more than 70 countries for emergency use. Some of the countries include Britain, Canada and Kenya. However, the jab is yet to be authorized in the United States although there are several doses at the American manufacturing entities awaiting distribution.
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“There is currently no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions, which are not listed as side effects with this vaccine,” said the agency while acknowledging an investigation to establish a link.
“The position of EMA’s safety committee PRAC is that the vaccine’s benefits continue to outweigh its risks and the vaccine can continue to be administered while investigation of cases of thromboembolic events is ongoing,” added the agency.
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