Denmark has said that it will stop using the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, becoming the first country in Europe to abandon the drug over suspected 'serious' side effects. The decision was taken due to the vaccine's link with very rare cases of blood clots. The European nation had earlier briefly suspended the use of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine.
Soren Brostrom, director of the country's health agency, said that despite the World Health Organization and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) favouring the use of the AstraZeneca jab, Denmark's vaccine campaign will continue without it.
"Overall, we must say that the results show that there is a real and serious side effect signal in the vaccine from AstraZeneca," Brostrom said in a statement. "Based on an overall consideration, we have therefore chosen to continue the vaccination programme for all target groups without this vaccine."
As many as 150,000 people have received the AstraZeneca vaccine in the country. They will now be offered a different jab for their second dose, the official said, adding that two recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccine have suffered severe blood clots, one of which was fatal. Notably, most vaccinations have been with the Pfizer-BioNTech jab.