Denmark will extend the suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine until April 15, the Danish health authority said on Thursday, as other European countries resume use of the vaccine.
Officials in Denmark want to further investigate whether the AstraZeneca vaccine is the cause of an unusual medical condition that includes low platelets, bleeding and blood clots in unexpected places in the body, said Danish health authority chief Soren Brostrom.
The European Medical Agency, the continent’s leading medicines agency, said last week it had found no evidence that the vaccine caused such rare but dangerous problems, and there is strong evidence that its life-saving benefits “outweigh the risk of the side effects “.
The agency announced Thursday that it had convened a group of outside medical experts to assess the vaccine’s safety.
Denmark was the first country to suspend use of the AstraZeneca vaccine on March 11th. Two deaths from brain haemorrhage have been reported in those who received the shot.
Officials admitted that continuing the suspension would cause delays in the vaccination process.
“We are very aware that continued vaccination with AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine will delay the Danish vaccination program,” said Brostrom. “However, the vaccines are already in the refrigerator. If we decide to resume vaccination with AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, we will be able to distribute and use the vaccines quickly. “
Swedish health officials, which suspended use of the AstraZeneca vaccine last week, said Thursday the country would resume its use for people over 65.
In other developments around the world:
Schools in Romania will be closed for four weeks from next month as the Eastern European country struggles to contain its latest wave of Covid-19 cases. Most schools will be closed from April 2nd to May 4th, Romanian Education Minister Sorin Cimpeanu said Thursday, extending the usual break for Orthodox and Catholic Easter.
Travelers fly to Germany They have to prove that they tested negative for Covid-19 before boarding from Sunday, the country’s health ministry said on Thursday. The Germans rushed to book flights and hotels in Portugal and Spain for Easter and Holy Week after the government removed those nations from their risk list that require people to be quarantined when they return to Germany.