Denmark to halt use of AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson jabs

In yet another hit to the EU's somewhat sluggardly vaccine rollout, Denmark will become the first country to entirely cease administering AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine following its possible link to very rare cases of blood clots, several Danish media outlets reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed sources.

Denmark also will put on hold the use of the Johnson & Johnson JNJ, -1.34% vaccine, linked to similar concerns. Denmark has ordered 8.2 million doses of the J&J vaccine.

The decision, which would remove the shot from Denmark’s vaccination scheme, could delay the country’s vaccine rollout by up to four weeks, based on previous statements by health bodies.

The EU’s drug watchdog said last week it had found a possible link between the vaccine and very rare blood clot cases, but said the risk of dying from COVID-19 was “much greater” than the risk of mortality from rare side effects.

The regulator, however, left it to individual states to make their own risk assessments and decide how administer the vaccine based on local conditions that vary widely across the bloc.

A spate of countries across the world, including France and Germany, have resumed administering the shot to some age groups, mostly those above 50 or 60.

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