Denmark became the first country in Europe to end their use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, after more than a dozen other European Union nations suspended its usage.
Denmark’s health agency director, Soren Brostrom, said “Denmark won’t use the shot as part of its vaccination campaign—even as the World Health Organization (WHO) and EU’s European Medicines Agency (EMA) have said the benefits of using the AstraZeneca shot outweigh the negatives amid reports of rare blood clots.”
“Overall, we must say that the results show that there is a real and serious side effect signal in the vaccine from AstraZeneca,” said Brostrom in a statement. “Based on an overall consideration, we have therefore chosen to continue the vaccination program for all target groups without this vaccine.”
Noting that it’s been a “difficult decision” to make, Brostrom said the “upcoming target groups for vaccination are less likely to become severely ill from COVID-19,” and officials “must weigh this against the fact that we now have a known risk of severe adverse effects from vaccination with AstraZeneca, even if the risk in absolute terms is slight.”
Danish officials said two patients who received the vaccine suffered from severe blood clots. One of them died, they said last month.