Due to a connection between the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and some very rare, but serious cases of blood clots, Denmark has become the first country in the world to drop the vaccine.
The decision was made in light of the low infection rate in Denmark and the availability of other vaccines, explained the Sundhedsstyrelsen health authority at a press conference moments ago.
However, the move will push the country’s vaccine calendar back by three weeks, so that everyone will be fully vaccinated by mid-August instead of late July.
“It is our decision to continue rolling out vaccinations in Denmark without AstraZeneca,” said Sundhedsstyrelsen head, Søren Brostrøm.
“We have many expert reports on it and it is a historic decision.”
Rounding 1 million vaccinations
It means that everyone over the age of 50 is expected to have been offered two vaccines by the end of June.
The about 149,000 people who have already received the first of two AstraZeneca injections will be offered another vaccine option at a later date.
All booked times and invitations pertaining to AstraZeneca jabs have thus been cancelled.
Keep and eye on Johnson & Johnson
Furthermore, the government is keeping a keen eye on ongoing developments regarding the Johnson & Johnson single-jab vaccine, of which Denmark has secured 8.2 million doses.
The first J&J doses arrived in Denmark today, but due to reports of possible side-effects, the company has decided to temporarily postpone delivering the vaccine in Europe.
Because of this, it is not known when the vaccine will be used in Denmark.
Almost 1 million people in Denmark – about one in every six – have had at least one COVID-19 vaccination so far. Over 460,000, about 8 percent, are fully vaccinated.