AstraZeneca offers vax safety reassurance, countries continue to halt rollout

March 15, 2021

After a handful of countries paused their use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine following sporadic reports of blood clots, AstraZeneca offered data-based reassurance on the safety of its vaccine.

Last week, after several European countries made the decision to halt the vaccine rollout — including Norway, Iceland and Bulgaria — Germany and France pushed back, saying they planned to continue to administer the vaccine.

But as of this morning, authorities in Germany and France appear to have changed their minds.

At a news conference this morning, it was announced that French authorities have decided to suspend shots at least until Tuesday afternoon, when the European Medicines Agency will issue its recommendation over the vaccine. Germany has also hit the pause button, after its national vaccine regulator, the Paul Ehrlich Institute, called for further investigation into seven reported cases of clots in the brains of people who had been vaccinated.

According to AstraZeneca, a careful review of all available safety data of more than 17 million people vaccinated in the EU and UK  has shown no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis or thrombocytopenia, in any defined age group, gender, batch or in any particular country.