Italy blacklists AstraZeneca just days after blocking export of vaccines to Australia

EU made ‘mistake’ on Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine says expert

When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters.Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer.Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights.You can unsubscribe at any time.

The Italian medicines authority admitted the move is precautionary as there are currently no links between the Oxford vaccine and cases of blood clots reported in Austria. Italy had blocked a shipment of 250,000 AstraZeneca vaccines to Australia just last week. 

The move follows seven other EU states after Austria first reported two cases of blood clots among people vaccinated with the UK jab.

The European Union’s drug regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), said on Wednesday there was no evidence so far linking AstraZeneca to the two cases in Austria.

Norway also halted the rollout of the UK COVID-19 vaccine, following a similar move by Denmark, Austria, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia.

“This is a cautionary decision,” Geir Bukholm, Director of Infection Prevention and Control at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, told a news conference.

Denmark is suspending the use of the jab for two weeks.

One person in Denmark who was given the AstraZeneca shot formed a blood clot and died, the Danish Health Authority said.

Austria has stopped using a batch of AstraZeneca shots while investigating a death from coagulation disorders and an illness from a pulmonary embolism.

“Both we and the Danish Medicines Agency have to respond to reports of possible serious side effects, both from Denmark and other European countries,” the director of the Danish Health Authority, Soren Brostrom, said in a statement.

“It is currently not possible to conclude whether there is a link. We are acting early, it needs to be thoroughly investigated,” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said on Twitter.

Some health experts said there was little evidence to suggest the vaccine should not be administered and that the cases of blood clots corresponded with the rate of such cases in the general population.

“This is a super-cautious approach based on some isolated reports in Europe,” Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, told Reuters.

“The problem with spontaneous reports of suspected adverse reactions to a vaccine are the enormous difficulty of distinguishing a causal effect from a coincidence,” he said.

The EMA said the number of thromboembolic events – marked by the formation of blood clots – in people who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine is no higher than that seen in the general population, with 22 cases of such events being reported among the 3 million people who have received it as of March 9.

The batch of 1 million doses, believed to be at fault, went to 17 EU countries.

Spain On Thursday said it had not registered any cases of blood clots related to AstraZeneca’s vaccine so far and would continue administering the shots.

More to follow…

Source: Read Full Article