Some countries are restricting use of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to certain age groups or suspending use after European and British regulators confirmed possible links to rare blood clots.
Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine has also been hit by concerns over blood clots, with European regulators reviewing such cases and US federal health agencies recommending pausing its use for a few days. J&J noted no clear causal relationship had been established between the clots and its vaccine.
The developments pose a risk to vaccination plans in Europe.
Regulators have maintained that the benefits of the AstraZeneca shot outweigh risks.
Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca said it was working with regulators to list the possible brain blood clots as “an extremely rare potential side effect” on the vaccines labels.
As of April 4, the European Medicines Agency had received reports of 169 cases of a rare brain blood clot known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), after 34 million doses had been administered in the European Economic Area – the EU plus Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. Most cases were in women under 60 years of age.
ASTRAZENECA VACCINE BEING USED, WITH OR WITHOUT RESTRICTIONS
Said on April 8 it now recommends people under 50 should get Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in preference to AstraZeneca’s shot.
Has resumed use.
Authorities said they would not limit use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, saying benefits outweigh risks.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has said an alternative to the vaccine should be given for people under 30 where possible, but people should continue to have a second shot if they have received a first dose.
Resumed inoculations from March 19.
Resumed inoculations on March 19.
Authorities said in early April they would pause offering the vaccine to people under 55 and require a new analysis of the shot’s benefits and risks based on age and gender. On April 13, the country said it had recorded its first case of blood clotting with low platelets.
Suspended use of the vaccine for people under 60 on April 7.
Approved resumed use of the vaccine on March 19 but said it should be given only to people aged 55 and over. On April 9, recommended that recipients of a first dose of the AstraZeneca shot who are under 55 should receive a second dose with a messenger RNA vaccine.
Resumed using the AstraZeneca vaccine from March 29, but only for people aged 65 and over.
Has limited use of the vaccine following the death of a nurse from anaphylactic shock, and vaccinations will continue only in full-fledged medical centres, Russian news agency TASS reported on March 19.
Sticking to its guidance from March 31 to limit use of the vaccine to those aged over 60. On April 1, Germany’s vaccine commission recommended people under 60 who have had a first shot of the vaccine should receive a different product for their second dose.
Continuing the vaccine’s rollout.
Resumed use on March 25 after suspending it on March 11.
Resumed using the vaccine on March 22 but warned against its use in people with a low blood platelet count.
On April 12, the country said it was restricting use of the vaccine to those over 60.
Has recommended the vaccine be used only for people over 60, the country’s top health adviser said.
Announced it was restarting administering the shots from March 19.
Restarted use on March 19.
Drug regulator Cofepris said on April 7 it did not “at this time” plan to limit the vaccine’s use but was investigating the information raised by Britain.
Limited use of the vaccine to people over 60, the Dutch government said on April 8.
Health minister said on March 31 the vaccine would be limited to people aged over 60 as a precautionary measure.
Suspended use of the vaccine for people under 60 on April 8.
Has resumed use of the vaccine after temporarily stopping vaccinating people with one batch of the vaccine on March 11.
Resumed use of the shot for people 30 years old or older on April 12. On April 7, it had suspended providing the AstraZeneca shot to people under 60.
From April 8, it was giving the vaccine only to people over 60.
Resumed use of the vaccine on March 25 for people aged 65 and older.
Began use on March 15 after delaying rollout the week before.
COUNTRIES WHERE ASTRAZENECA VACCINE USE SUSPENDED
Suspended administration of the vaccine it was scheduled to receive on March 20 as part of the global vaccines sharing scheme COVAX, the health ministry said.
Prolonged its suspension of the shot by three weeks pending further investigations after a two-week pause ended on March 25.
Authorities said on March 26 Norway would delay a decision on use of the vaccine, with a decision expected by April 15.
J&J VACCINE DELAYS AND RESTRICTIONS
On April 13, US federal health agencies recommended pausing use of J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine for at least a few days after six women under age 50 developed rare blood clots after receiving the shot.
The company said it would delay rollout of the vaccine to Europe, after regulators said they were reviewing rare blood clots.
J&J only began delivering the vaccine to European Union countries in the week beginning April 12.
Suspended use of J&J’s vaccine on April 13.