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Denmark suspends AstraZeneca rollout after blood clot reports
11 March 2021, 14:47 | Updated: 11 March 2021, 17:44
Denmark has suspended its rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine as a precaution after reports of some people getting blood clots after the jab.
The decision for a pause was made on Thursday after one death was reported along with a small number of blood clots - although Danish authorities have said no link to the vaccine has been confirmed.
It is therefore being described as a precautionary measure while the incidents are investigated.
Meanwhile, the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has stressed that no causal link has been found between the clots and the vaccine, and has advised people to continue getting their jabs.
"Vaccine safety is of paramount importance and we continually monitor the safety of vaccines to ensure that the benefits outweigh any potential risks," said Dr Phil Bryan, the MHRA vaccines safety lead.
"It has not been confirmed that the report of a blood clot, in Denmark, was caused by the Covid-19 vaccine (from) AstraZeneca.
"The Danish authorities' action to temporarily suspend use of the vaccine is precautionary whilst they investigate.
"Blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon. More than 11 million doses of the Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca vaccine have now been administered across the UK.
"Reports of blood clots received so far are not greater than the number that would have occurred naturally in the vaccinated population."
When asked about the decision from Denmark, the spokesperson to Boris Johnson said: "We've been clear that it's both safe and effective... and when people are asked to come forward and take it, they should do so in confidence."
The European Medicine Agency (EMA) said earlier this week that Austria had also suspended the use of an AstraZeneca batch after a person was found to have blood clots and died 10 days after getting vaccinated.
Another was taken to hospital with pulmonary embolism after being vaccinated - and two more reports of clots have been found since 9 March.
The EMA added: "There is currently no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions, which are not listed as side-effects with this vaccine."
In a statement, AstraZeneca said patient safety was its "highest priority" and regulators have "clear and stringent efficacy and safety standards" for the approval of any new medicine.
"The safety of the vaccine has been extensively studied in phase three clinical trials and peer-reviewed data confirms the vaccine has been generally well tolerated," it said.