Despite the World Health Organization (WHO) and European regulators reassuring it is safe and expressing confidence in it, many more countries are suspending the use of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine adding to a growing concern about the vaccine Nigeria recently received almost four million doses of.
The decision by Germany, the largest country to halt the rollout, followed the detection of seven cases of blood clots in the brain, out of 1.6 million people who have received the vaccine in the country, Health Minister Jens Spahn said in a news conference, according to Washington Post.
On Sunday, the Netherlands joined Ireland in suspending use of the vaccine following further reports of blood clots in people who have received it in Norway and Denmark.
The Dutch health ministry Sunday evening said the move was precautionary as there was no proof yet of a direct link between the vaccine and reports of possible side-effects from Norway and Denmark.
While no cases of side effects were recorded in The Netherlands, the government said it would now wait for an investigation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
“We can’t allow any doubts about the vaccine,” Dutch health minister Hugo de Jonge said, according to a report in the UK Guardian. “We have to make sure everything is right, so it is wise to pause for now.”
Last Thursday, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and Bulgaria suspended the use of the vaccines as a precaution amid reports of blood clotting in some people who have received it, including one death.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how authorities in Austria last Tuesday halted vaccination with a certain batch of AstraZeneca as a precaution while investigating the death of one person and the illness of another after taking the jabs.
Thailand and the Democratic Republic of Congo became the first countries outside of Europe to delay the use of the vaccine over similar concerns.
A pulmonary embolism is an acute lung disease caused by a dislodged blood clot. Currently, there is no evidence of a causal relationship with the vaccination, according to EU regulators but the growing concerns are making more countries to slowdown the rollout of the vaccines.
Nigeria’s health authorities last Thursday through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) moved quickly to douse growing anxiety around the suspension of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.
“While we await the outcome of the investigations, it is important to clearly state that Nigeria did not receive any doses from the batch of vaccines which is at issue,” a statement signed by Mohammed Ohitoto, the head of its public relations unit of the NPHCDA said, implying that the vaccines are in batches.
While the agency stated the batch in question as ABV5300, it, however, did not state that of Nigeria.
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