EU refutes claims that AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine causes blood clots

Denmark, Norway, and Iceland have suspended distribution of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in response to concerns it increases the risk of blood clots

A health worker holds up a vial of Covishield, AstraZeneca-Oxford's Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine, at the Ayeyarwady Covid Center in Yangon on January 27, 2021. (Photo by Sai Aung Main / AFP) (Photo by SAI AUNG MAIN/AFP via Getty Images)
(Image credit: Sai Aung Main / AFP) (Photo by SAI AUNG MAIN/AFP via Getty Images)

The EU has rejected claims that the Astrazeneca vaccine for Covid-19 has links to blood clots, after both Denmark and Norway halted distribution of the lifesaving jab.  

"There is currently no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions, which are not listed as side effects with this vaccine," the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Thursday.

The statement was released following Denmark’s confirmation that they were pausing the AstraZeneca vaccine for a period of 14 days, in light of 'reports of serious cases of blood clots among people vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine.'

The Danish government has acknowledged that no link has been found between the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots, but says it is enforcing precautionary measures until the concerns can be disproven. Its regional authorities have been instructed to halt the rollout of the vaccine and to only use the approved alternatives by Moderna and Comirnaty. Norway and Iceland have also followed suit and temporarily stopped the distribution of the jab. 

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The EU said that the AstraZeneca ‘vaccine’s benefits continue to outweigh its risk and the vaccine can continue to be administered while investigation of cases of thromboembolic events is ongoing.’ 

Denmark’s vaccination rollout will be slowed down as a result of the two-week-long suspension. Copenhagen had hoped to have its entire adult population vaccinated by early July but is now more likely to achieve this goal by mid-August. 

In response to the suspension, AstraZeneca said, “The vaccine’s safety has been thoroughly researched in phase-three studies and peer-reviewed data confirms that the vaccine is generally well tolerated.” 

The UK government has urged people not to cancel their vaccine appointment following these recent developments. Dr. Phil Bryan, the lead of vaccine safety at Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory, assured the public that 'reports of blood clots received so far are not greater than the number that would have occurred naturally in the vaccinated population.' The current shots being distributed in the UK are Pzifer, Moderna, and the AstraZeneca vaccine. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.