As the US's decision to discontinue the Johnson & Johnson vaccine provokes a new scrutiny for all vaccines based on adenovirus-vector platform, Denmark, one of the most critical countries in Europe when it comes to vaccine safety, has just declared that it will permanently ban AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine following a safety review.
The decision to ban the jab was taken after it was reportedly linked to several serious reactions involving blood clots and bleeding in patients with low blood platelet counts, according to Berlingske.
The vaccine was originally put on hold on March 11 when a 60-year-old Danish woman died shortly after receiving the vaccine. She died with a very unique disease picture, where she was both affected by internal bleeding, a very low platelet count and blood clots. Roughly three dozen similar cases have been reported across the EU.
Cerebral blood clots were characterized as a very rare side effect, the result of random immune system reactions to the adenovirus jabs - or at least that's what a team of doctors suggested yesterday.
Both the WHO and the EMA have repeatedly maintained that the benefits of using the corona pandemic vaccine outweigh the risks, though the EMA has acknowledged that there's a possibility of a connection between the vaccines and the rare reactions, which have now been documented in patients who received the AstraZeneca jab, and the J&J jab.
Yesterday, Dr. Peter Marks said US regulators were looking more closely at the adenovirus platform, which was used by AstraZeneca, J&J and Russia's "Sputnik V" jab.
Denmark and Norway had maintained the pause to examine the vaccine further. But now the authorities in Denmark have decided that there's enough evidence to permanently suspend the vaccine in their country.
The decision will have a significant impact on the timeline of Denmark's vaccine rollout, with officials estimating on Wednesday that it could take an extra three months to the vaccinate the entire population.
Meanwhile, in the EU, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proclaimed that the Continent has reached 100M vaccinations, a milestone made possible by a recent acceleration in the pace of the Continent's rollout.
Today we have reached 100 million vaccinations in the EU. A milestone we can be proud of!— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) April 14, 2021
We are also accelerating the delivery of vaccines.
We spare no effort to ensure that Europeans can be vaccinated as fast as possible. #StrongerTogether
Already, other European nations are offering to take Denmark's stockpile of AstraZeneca jabs off its hands. Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamacek made the offer in a tweet on Tuesday.