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AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to stop being used in Denmark

Click to play video: 'Denmark becomes 1st country to stop using AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine' Denmark becomes 1st country to stop using AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
WATCH: Denmark becomes 1st country to stop using AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine – Apr 14, 2021

The Danish Health Authority confirmed on Wednesday it would halt entirely using AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in its vaccination program.

“The Danish Health Authority has decided to continue the vaccination against COVID-19 without the vaccine from AstraZeneca,” it said in a statement.

The decision, which would remove the shot from Denmark’s vaccination scheme, could delay the country’s vaccine rollout by up to four weeks, based on previous statements by health bodies.

Click to play video: 'Symptoms that recipients of AstraZeneca vaccine are told to watch for' Symptoms that recipients of AstraZeneca vaccine are told to watch for
Symptoms that recipients of AstraZeneca vaccine are told to watch for – Apr 7, 2021

Read more: Canada reports 1st blood clot in AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine recipient

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The European Union’s drug watchdog said last week it had found a possible link between the vaccine and very rare blood clot cases, but said the risk of dying from COVID-19 was “much greater” than the risk of mortality from rare side effects.

The regulator, however, left it to individual states to make their own risk assessments and decide how administer the vaccine based on local conditions that vary widely across the bloc.

A spate of countries across the world, including France and Germany, have resumed administering the shot to some age groups, mostly those above 50 or 60.

Click to play video: 'Health Matters: ‘Possible’ link between AstraZeneca vaccine and rare blood clots' Health Matters: ‘Possible’ link between AstraZeneca vaccine and rare blood clots
Health Matters: ‘Possible’ link between AstraZeneca vaccine and rare blood clots – Apr 7, 2021

Denmark, a country of 5.8 million people, is in the process of reopening schools, restaurants, shopping malls and cultural activities, after the daily infection rate has slowed to 500-600 a day from several thousand in December.

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Danish Health Authority director Soren Brostrom said last month that Denmark “follows a precautionary principle” with regards to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

It was the first country to initially suspend all usage of the vaccine in March over safety concerns and has also put Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine on pause pending further investigations into a possible link to rare blood clot cases.

Almost one million Danes have received their first jabs, 77% with Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine, 7.8 per cent with Moderna’s shot and 15.3 per cent with AstraZeneca’s, before it was suspended.

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