In a major development, three more European Union nations Monday stopped administration of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine to their citizens following incidents of blood clots formation in patients who have received the doses.
France, Germany and Italy have joined Austria, The Irish Republic, Denmark, Norway, Bulgaria and Iceland and other countries where rollout of the same vaccine has been halted temporarily.
Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn said that the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been suspended with immediate effect in light of the recommendation of the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), the country’s authority on vaccines.
“The background to this decision follows new reports of cases of cerebral vein thrombosis connected with an AstraZeneca vaccination,” Jens Spahn said.
“In light of these newly reported cases, the Paul Ehrlich Institute today re-evaluated the situation and recommended a suspension of vaccinations and further analysis.”
French President Emmanuel Macron said the administration the vaccine has been suspended until the European Medicines Agency (EMA) gives advice on the matter on Tuesday afternoon.
“We have a simple guide, to be informed by science and the competent heath authorities and to do it as part of a European strategy,” Macron said.
Italy’s medicines authority extended a ban imposed on individual batches of the COVID-19 vaccine throughout the country amid waiting for the decision of the EMA.
The use of the vaccine has been suspended so far until at least 29 March.
On Friday, the World Health Organization said that it had so far found no evidence that blood clotting occurred due to the AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.
It also said that there was no reason to stop the use of vaccine.
There have been a number of cases in Europe of blood clots developing after the vaccine was administered, BBC reported.