Denmark becomes first in EU to drop AstraZeneca vaccine

Health workers prepare syringes for people to be vaccinated against Covid-19 with Pfizer / BioNTech's Comirnaty vaccine at the vaccination site in Arena Nord in Frederikshavn, Jutland, Denmark, on April 12, 2021, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)
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Morten Buttler Bloomberg News (TNS)

Denmark has become the first country in the European Union to drop AstraZeneca Plc’s vaccine from its COVID-19 inoculation program, amid concerns over blood clots.

The decision was announced at a press briefing in Copenhagen on Wednesday, confirming earlier media reports.

Denmark was one of the first countries to suspend the vaccine on March 11 after reports of blood clots. At the time, the Danish Health Authority called the decision a precautionary move and reiterated its view that Astra’s vaccine was “effective and safe.”

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Both European and British drug regulators have said they found a link between Astra’s vaccine and blood clots, but said benefits still outweigh the risks. Most Western European countries have limited their use of the company’s vaccine to the elderly, while in Eastern Europe, Astra has largely been reinstated with no limitations.

Denmark’s Scandinavian neighbor, Norway, which has also kept Astra on hold since last month, is due to announce its decision on Thursday.

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