Norway suspends vaccine

AstraZeneca’s vaccine may have connection to blood clots

AstraZeneca vaccine

Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB
Norway has temporarily suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine as a precautionary measure.

The Local

On March 11, Norway’s health authorities said they were suspending the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 as a precaution, following Denmark’s decision to do so over fears of a link to blood clots. Danish health authorities said they were temporarily suspending the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine as a precaution after some patients developed blood clots since receiving the injection. One of the patients in Denmark died.

One case of blood clotting has been reported in connection to AstraZeneca vaccine in Norway. It is currently unclear whether the clotting was connected to the vaccine itself. Since AstraZeneca was launched in Norway on Feb. 8, there have been 394 reports of suspected side effects, 15 of them serious.

This pause means that the Norweigan Institute of Public Health (NIPH) will stop sending the vaccine to municipalities and the doses that have been sent out to sites will not be used. Several municipalities and cities have already paused their vaccinations.

Currently, no scientific link has been established between the blood clots and the vaccine. This is what Denmark, Norway, and other countries will now begin investigating.

AstraZeneca issued a statement that they believe the vaccine is safe.

So far, 120,000 people in Norway have received the AstraZeneca vaccine. The suspension comes two days after NIPH said it recommended the vaccine for all people older than 18. Previously, the vaccine was only offered to health personnel and those older than 65.

The suspension is expected to cause delays in Norway’s vaccination program. People waiting for both their first and second doses of the vaccine may now have to wait longer than expected, while it is not yet known how long the suspension will last. This article originally appeared in the March 26, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American.

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The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.