BERLIN – Spain will cease administering the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for 2 weeks whereas specialists look at its security, Well being Minister Carolina Dias mentioned on Monday.
Different international locations within the European Union together with France, Germany and Italy have additionally briefly stopped utilizing the AstraZeneca jab amid reviews that some individuals have developed blood clots after receiving the vaccine. .
Spain has solely given the blow to individuals below the age of 55, saying its effectiveness on the aged is unproven.
THIS IS A BRIEF UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows under.
BERLIN (AP) – Germany, France and Italy on Monday grew to become the final international locations to droop use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine as a consequence of reviews of harmful blood clots in some recipients, though the corporate and European regulators mentioned there was no proof the vaccine was guilty.
AstraZeneca’s components is only one of three vaccines used on the continent. However the transfer marks one other setback for vaccine deployment within the European Union, which has been stricken by provide shortages and different hurdles and is nicely behind campaigns in Britain and within the USA.
The EU’s drug regulatory company’s security committee referred to as a gathering on Thursday to evaluate the specialists’ findings on the AstraZeneca vaccine and determine whether or not motion must be taken.
The fury comes as a lot of Europe tightens restrictions on faculties and companies amid the surge in COVID-19 instances.
“As we speak’s choice is a purely precautionary measure,” mentioned Jens Spahn.
French President Emmanuel Macron has mentioned his nation may even droop capturing till at the least Tuesday afternoon. He mentioned France hoped to renew use of the components quickly.
The Italian drug regulator additionally introduced a provisional and preventive ban, lower than 24 hours after declaring that the “alarm” relating to the vaccine “was not justified”.
AstraZeneca mentioned there have been 37 reviews of blood clots in additional than 17 million individuals vaccinated within the 27 international locations of the European Union and Britain. The drugmaker mentioned there was no proof the vaccine carries an elevated threat of clots.
In reality, he mentioned the incidence of clots is far decrease than one would naturally anticipate in a common inhabitants of this dimension and is just like that of different licensed COVID-19 vaccines.
The World Well being Group and the EU’s European Medicines Company additionally mentioned the info doesn’t counsel the vaccine precipitated the clots and that individuals ought to proceed to be vaccinated.
“A number of thousand individuals develop blood clots yearly within the EU for various causes,” mentioned the European Medicines Company. The incidence in these vaccinated “doesn’t look like greater than that noticed within the common inhabitants.”
The company mentioned that because the investigation continued, “the advantages of the AstraZeneca vaccine in stopping COVID-19, with its related threat of hospitalization and dying, outweigh the dangers of uncomfortable side effects. “
Blood clots can move by way of the physique and trigger coronary heart assaults, strokes, and deadly blockages within the lungs. AstraZeneca has reported 15 instances of deep vein thrombosis, or a kind of clot that always develops within the legs, and 22 instances of pulmonary embolism or clots within the lungs.
AstraZeneca firing has turn out to be a key device in European international locations’ efforts to spice up their gradual vaccine launches. Additionally it is the spine of a UN-backed venture generally known as COVAX, which goals to offer COVID-19 vaccines to the poorest international locations.
Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are additionally in use in mainland Europe, and Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine has been licensed however not but delivered.
In america, which depends on the Pfizer, Moderna and J&J vaccines, AstraZeneca ought to search authorization at any time.
Denmark final week grew to become the primary nation to briefly halt use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in current days. He mentioned one particular person developed clots and died 10 days after receiving at the least one dose. The opposite international locations embody Eire, Thailand, the Netherlands, Norway, Iceland, Congo and Bulgaria.
Final week, Germany and France have been among the many nations that caught it out, whereas Italy solely suspended a selected batch of vaccine. Britain and Canada are supporting AstraZeneca’s vaccine for now.
Dr Michael Head, a senior researcher in international well being on the College of Southampton in England, mentioned there was no knowledge but to justify the suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine and referred to as the choice “puzzling”.
“Stopping the deployment of a vaccine throughout a pandemic has penalties,” mentioned Head. “This results in delays in defending individuals and the potential for elevated reluctance to immunize, as a consequence of individuals who have seen the headlines and are understandably involved.”
Spahn, the German Minister of Well being, mentioned of the choice to droop the capturing of AstraZeneca: “A very powerful factor for belief is transparency.” He mentioned the primary and second doses can be affected by the suspension.
German authorities have inspired anybody who feels more and more ailing greater than 4 days after receiving the vaccine – for instance, with persistent complications or point-like bruises – to see a health care provider.
Germany has acquired simply over 3 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and about half of those have been administered up to now, in comparison with virtually 7 million from Pfizer vaccine and round 285,000 from Moderna.
Europe, in the meantime, is reimposing restrictions in a bid to counter a resurgence of infections, lots of which come from variants of the unique virus.
In Italy, 80% of the nation’s youngsters have been unable to attend lessons after stricter guidelines got here into impact in additional areas on Monday. In Poland, elevated restrictions have been utilized to 2 different areas, together with Warsaw. Paris may go into lockdown in just a few days as intensive care models are overwhelmed with COVID-19 sufferers.
Sylvie Corbet in Paris, Maria Cheng in London and Frances D’Emilio in Rome contributed to this report.
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