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Finland suspends use of AstraZeneca vaccine

20/03/2021 at 8:31 AM

Astra

Helsinki, March 20 (IANS) The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) on Friday announced a one-week suspension of the AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine in the country despite the previous day’s recommendation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) which said that the vaccine was safe for use.

Two possible cases of blood clots have been reported in recent days in Finland among people who have taken the vaccine. Both patients also had underlying medical conditions, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Hanna Nohynek, chief physician at the THL, said at a press conference that no causal link had been established. The one-week suspension was decided as a precautionary measure.

Nohynek said that the decision was also based on similar cases reported in Norway, Denmark and Germany.

The EMA on Thursday called on the member states of the European Union (EU) to continue using the AstraZeneca vaccine because “its benefits outweighed its risks.”

To date, 140,000 people have received the AstraZeneca jab in Finland. Under the current guidelines, it has not been administered to people older than 70 but has been used for risk groups under 70 and for medical professionals treating Covid-19 patients.

The suspension took effect immediately and the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine could resume on March 29 at the earliest, the THL said.

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