Norway sees 3 cases of blood clot post AstraZeneca's Covid-19 shot
Norway, among the countries that have suspended the use of AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine, said three people who received its shot are being treated for severe blood clots and cerebral hemorrhages but that it’s too soon to say if there was a connection.
The people, who were all “of younger age,” had a reduced number of platelets in their blood, the Norwegian Medicines Agency said in a statement on Saturday.
Health authorities in Norway are telling people under the age of 50 who’ve received the AstraZeneca shot in the last 14 days to see a doctor if they feel ill or detect skin hemorrhages more than three days after vaccination.
Norway on Thursday followed countries including Denmark in pausing use of the vaccine over concerns about blood clots, after a person in Austria died and others fell ill after being inoculated.
“We can’t say if there is a connection with the vaccine, but we will investigate thoroughly,” Sigurd Hortemo, a doctor at the Norwegian Medicines Agency, said at a press conference from Oslo.
Fiona Cookson, AstraZeneca’s director of global media relations, said safety data covering more than 17 million doses administered “has shown no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis or thrombocytopenia.”
The reported numbers of these types of events for people who’ve had the AstraZeneca shot “are not greater than the number that would have occurred naturally in the unvaccinated population,” Cookson added in an emailed statement. A review of available safety data is ongoing, she said.
The European Medicines Agency said Wednesday in a statement referencing the Austrian cases said that it was investigating the concerns but had initially found no indication that the vaccine caused the clots. The European Commission has said it will follow EMA’s recommendation.
A group of experts from the World Health Organization is also assessing the reported blood clots and looking at two specific batches of the vaccine, WHO officials said Friday. Unless a clear link is established, the WHO said there is no reason to stop injections.