AstraZeneca Slides As Denmark Suspends Vaccinations On Blood-Clot Fears

Europe's much-criticized vaccination rollout has just hit another snag, as Danish health authorities are increasingly concerned about harmful side-effects believed to be associated with the AstraZeneca-Oxford jab, the cheap COVID remedy that was supposed to help Europe catch up with the US, UK and Israel.

Danish authorities on Thursday temporarily suspended AstraZeneca's (AZN) COVID-19 shot following reports of cases of dangerous blood clots forming inside patients, including one such incident that took place in Denmark. Authorities didn't specify exactly how many reports of blood clots there had been, but Reuters reports that Austria has also stopped using a batch of AstraZeneca shots while investigating a death attributed to coagulation disorders, along with an illness attributed ot a pulmonary embolism, a condition where one or more of the lung's arteries becomes blocked by a blood clot. Six other European countries have also reportedly halted distribution of the COVID jab.

"Both we and the Danish Medicines Agency have to respond to reports of possible serious side-effects, both from Denmark and other European countries," the director of the Danish Health Authority, Soren Brostrom, said in a statement.

The Danish Medicines Agency said the suspension would last for 14 days as authorities launch an investigation into the blood clots, with assistance from other EU member states.

They did not say how many reports of blood clots there had been, but Austria has stopped using a batch of AstraZeneca shots while investigating a death from coagulation disorders and an illness from a pulmonary embolism.

AstraZeneca claims its vaccine is subject to strict and rigorous quality controls and that there have been "no confirmed serious adverse events associated with the vaccine." It said it was in contact with Austrian authorities and would fully support their investigation.

"Both we and the Danish Medicines Agency have to respond to reports of possible serious side-effects, both from Denmark and other European countries," the director of the Danish Health Authority, Soren Brostrom, said. "It is important to emphasize that we have not opted out of using the AstraZeneca vaccine, but that we are putting it on hold."

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