Spain, France, and Germany have temporarily stopped the rollout of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine over blood clot concerns.
Spain’s health Minister Carolina Darias announced on Monday that the vaccine will not be used for two weeks. It’s a “temporary and precautionary” suspension, she said, “until the risks can be evaluated by the European Medicines Agency.”
On the other hand, German health minister Jens Spahn said that inoculations will be paused after reports of some cases of blood clots in people vaccinated with AstraZeneca in Denmark and Norway.
Apart from that, France and Italy have also paused vaccine rollout. French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday, “We have decided to suspend the use of AstraZeneca as a precautionary measure and are hoping to resume it quickly if the EMA’s advice allows it.”
The move comes after prosecutors in northern Italy ordered a batch of the vaccine to be taken into custody. Italy’s medicine agency has also suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine “as a precaution and temporarily.”
What does WHO say?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged the countries not to pause the vaccine rollout.
WHO said that there was no evidence of a link between the vaccine and blood clots.
WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said the body was investigating the reports.
“As soon as WHO has gained a full understanding of these events, the findings and any unlikely changes to current recommendations will be immediately communicated to the public,” he said.
“As of today, there is no evidence that the incidents are caused by the vaccine and vaccination campaigns must continue so that we can save lives and stem severe disease from the virus.”