Denmark reports two cases of serious illness, including one death, after AstraZeneca shot

One person had died and another fell seriously ill with blood clots and cerebral haemorrhage after receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination in Denmark.

Two members of staff in the public hospitals at Copenhagen fell ill after receiving the vaccine, the Danish Medicines Agency has confirmed

Denmark has earlier stopped the use of AstraZeneca vaccine on March 11 after a small number of reports of cases of rare brain blood clots sent scientists and governments scrambling to determine any link.

Other countries including Germany and France this week suspended the use of AstraZeneca vaccine following an investigation into the reports of blood clots by the European Union’s drug watchdog, which said on Thursday that the benefits of the vaccine do more good than harm.

Denmark, along Sweden and Norway on Friday said they needed more time to decide whether to use AstraZeneca vaccine.

“We prioritize reports of suspected serious side effects such as these and examine them thoroughly to assess whether there is a possible link to the vaccine,” Tanja Erichsen, acting director of Pharmacovigilance at the Danish Medicines Agency, said in a tweet on Saturday.

“We are in the process of dealing with the two specific cases.”

European Medicines Agency (EMA) director Emer Cooke said on Thursday the watchdog could not definitively rule out a link between blood clot incidents and the vaccine in its investigation.

But she said the “clear” conclusion of the review was that the benefits in protecting people from the risk of death or hospitalisation outweighs the possible risks. The issue deserves further analysis, the EMA said.

The company on Saturday declined to comment on the new cases in Denmark, but referred to a statement published on Thursday, in which its chief medical officer, Ann Taylor, said:

“Vaccine safety is paramount and we welcome the regulators’ decisions which affirm the overwhelming benefit of our vaccine in stopping the pandemic. We trust that, after the regulators’ careful decisions, vaccinations can once again resume across Europe.”

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