The Danish Directorate General of Health has definitively canceled this Wednesday the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine against covid-19, paralyzed in the country for a month, considering that there is a probable connection between this and very rare cases of thrombosis detected after inoculation, and that there are enough vaccines on the market and the epidemic situation in this country is under control.
The health authorities have indicated that they are “in complete agreement” with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) that the AstraZeneca vaccine is “safe and effective”, although they have recalled that the final decision is up to each country and referred to “prospects general social issues ”, explained the head of department of the Danish Medicines Agency, Tanja Erichsen. The director of the General Directorate of Health, Sren Brostrm has commented that they now know that there is a possible biological explanation that the AstraZeneca vaccine can cause these rare cases of thrombosis. In addition, Brostrm, in a press conference, has said that there was a temporary connection between the symptoms (low platelets, clots in blood vessels and bleeding) and vaccination.
In collaboration with Norway, the other European country that has suspended vaccination with AstraZeneca, the Danish authorities have estimated, after studying their health records, that the risk of these symptoms for those who have received this vaccine is one in 40,000 and that they do not it can be narrowed down to specific age or gender groups.
Brostrm stressed that there is “sufficient” evidence for the Danish authorities to react, although he added that Denmark does not refuse to be able to recover the vaccine in the future if necessary, in case the epidemiological situation worsens significantly and health returns to be collapsed.
The second dose, with another drug
The decision assumes that the 149,000 people who have received the first dose of AstraZeneca in Denmark will later be offered another of the vaccines approved in Denmark for the second dose. The vaccination schedule in the country will also suffer a delay of several weeks and the authorities now estimate that the entire population will have completed it in early August, instead of in the second half of July.
Denmark had been the first European country to suspend vaccination with AstraZeneca on March 11, a decision that was later followed by most European states, although they resumed the process when the European Medicines Agency (EMA in its acronym in English) assured that it did not there was evidence of a direct relationship with the cases of thrombosis detected. However, some countries have reserved its use for people over 60, such as Germany, Spain and Sweden, while Norway will announce in a few days what resolution it will take on the vaccine, also suspended for a month.
Denmark has registered a death with this clinical picture, which includes a low number of platelets, clots in blood vessels and hemorrhages; and a couple of cases of deceased with similar symptoms that had not yet been analyzed at the end of March.
The epidemic situation has been stable for a month in the Scandinavian country, which last week had the third lowest incidence of new cases in the last 14 days, with 129.15 per 100,000 inhabitants, behind Iceland and Portugal. The Danish authorities began in March a reopening of economic and social activity, largely linked to the presentation of a certificate that proves that they are vaccinated, have passed the covid-19 or have tested negative.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.