Denmark is suspending use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for 14 days from Thursday following reports of "severe cases of blood clots." Health Minister Magnus Heunicke stresses the move is a "precautionary measure" as the fatal or life-threatening blood clots reported in a handful of vaccine recipients have not been definitely linked to the vaccine. Still, the move comes "in the middle of the largest and most important vaccination rollout in Danish history" and at a time when "we need all the vaccines we can get," Soren Brostrom, director of the National Board of Health, tells CNN. It also comes days after Austria suspended use of a particular batch of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, use of which has also been paused in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Luxembourg, per the BBC.
The batch, dubbed ABV5300, includes 1 million doses delivered to 17 European Union countries. Austria temporarily suspended its use after a 49-year-old woman died with multiple blood clots on Sunday, 10 days after she was vaccinated. A death has also been reported in Denmark, per CNBC. But the BBC describes only three other reports of thromboembolism tied to the vaccine batch as of Tuesday. Just 22 thromboembolic events have been reported among the 3 million people given any batch of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine across the European Economic Area. The European Medicines Agency, which is investigating, notes the number of cases "is no higher than that seen in the general population." AstraZeneca says "the vaccine is generally well tolerated." (Read more Denmark stories.)