By Dominic Chopping

 

Denmark has decided to cease use of AstraZeneca PLC's Covid-19 vaccine completely amid the drug's link to blood clots, the country's health authority said Wednesday.

The Scandinavian country was among the first to temporarily halt vaccinations with the vaccine last month. Authorities initially paused use of the vaccine for two weeks, which was then extended by a further three weeks, allowing for more time to assess studies into possible side effects.

The Danish Health Authority said Wednesday that those studies, including joint Danish and Norwegian efforts, concluded that there is an "over-frequency" of specific side effects, especially blood clots in the veins in the brain.

"Overall, we must say that the results show that there is a real and serious side effect signals in the vaccine from AstraZeneca," Danish Health Authority Director Soren Brostrom said.

"Based on an overall consideration, we have therefore chosen to continue the vaccination program for all target groups without this vaccine," he said.

The authority said that overall the vaccine offers more advantages than disadvantages, but that Denmark has other vaccines available and the country has good control of the epidemic with high numbers of the more vulnerable older age groups already vaccinated.

"If we in Denmark were in a completely different situation with for example a violent third wave and a pressured healthcare system, and where we had not reached that far in our rollout of vaccines, I would not hesitate to use the vaccine," Mr. Brostrom added.

The authority added that AstraZeneca's drug remains an approved vaccine and it doesn't rule out that it could be used again in the future if the situation changes.

 

Write to Dominic Chopping at dominic.chopping@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 14, 2021 08:47 ET (12:47 GMT)

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