Wednesday, June 16, 2021
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Should I be concerned about the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine?

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Ireland and the Netherlands have said they will temporarily suspend use of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, adding to a list of countries concerned about the jab.

Here we take a look at the key questions surrounding the situation.

There have been a small number of reports of people experiencing blood clots in the days and weeks after their vaccination.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) reported one person in Austria was diagnosed with blood clots and died 10 days after vaccination, but it stressed there is “currently no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions”.

Another person was admitted to hospital in Austria with pulmonary embolism (blockage in arteries in the lungs) after being vaccinated, while one death involving a blood clot was reported in Denmark.

A 50-year-old man is also thought to have died in Italy from deep vein thrombosis (DVT), while there has been an unconfirmed report of another death in Italy.

Ireland’s decision followed reports of serious clotting in adults in Norway which left four people in hospital.

– Which countries are involved?

Ireland and the Netherlands on Sunday joined a list that already included Denmark, Norway and Iceland, which said they are temporarily halting all AstraZeneca vaccinations to investigate further.

The Netherlands said it is suspending its AstraZeneca rollout as a precaution for two weeks after a small number of new reports in Denmark and Norway of blood clotting and lowered levels of blood platelets in people aged under 50.

Bulgaria’s prime minister said its suspension would last until the EMA issued a written statement that the vaccine is safe.

Italy also followed Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Luxembourg and Lithuania in banning jabs from one particular batch of one million AstraZeneca vaccines, which was sent to 17 countries, after reports of a death.

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