In a move that will alarm many, Denmark has decided to suspend the roll out of the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine after reports of people experiencing severe blood clots following receiving the vaccine, the government has stated.
Whilst there does not appear to be a definitive link between the blood clotting incidents and the vaccine, the Danish Health and Medicines Authority issued the precautionary measure for the next two weeks.
In a statement issued by the National Board of Health, Soren Brostrom stated. “Right now we need all the vaccines we can get. Therefore, putting one of the vaccines on pause is not an easy decision. But precisely because we vaccinate so many, we also need to respond with timely care when there is knowledge of possible serious side effects. We need to clarify this before we can continue to use the Astrazeneca Vaccine.”
The announcement has come following initial reports in Austria of cases of blood clots following the vaccination, which led to the suspension of a specific batch within the country. As a consequence of this several European countries have also halted rollout of that specific batch, whilst Denmark is the first country to half all Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccinations.
The European Medicines Agency which is investigating the reports has stated that the information available at the moment indicates that there is no link between the batch and the blood clots, with the reported cases being no higher than those seen in the general population.
All of this comes as the UK and the EU engage in a war of words over who is involved in vaccine nationalism and the apparent lack of transparency over vaccine exports.
Seeing how all of this pans out may have a bigger impact on the future of UK-EU relations than any Brexit negotiation.