Italian prosecutors said on March 15 they seized a batch of nearly 400,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after a man died hours after receiving the shot.
Piedmont’s regional government told Reuters it suspended the use of AstraZeneca batch ABV5811 after a 57-year-old man identified as Sandro Tognatti fell ill and died. The cause of death and other circumstances surrounding his death are not clear.
“It is therefore important to ensure that continued administration of the drug throughout the country does not lead to further consequences [harmful or fatal] … until we are completely sure that [Tognatti’s] death cannot be attributed to the above-mentioned inoculation,” prosecutor Teresa Angela Camelio said in a statement to news outlets.
Tognatti, a music teacher, was administered the vaccine on the afternoon of March 13, his wife told news outlets, according to Reuters. She said he developed a high temperature and fell ill. He died shortly after an ambulance was called for him on March 14.
In a statement to The Epoch Times, AstraZeneca said that “the safety of all is our first priority.”
“We are working with national health authorities and European officials and look forward to their assessment later this week. Around 17 million people in the EU and UK have now received our vaccine, and the number of cases of blood clots reported in this group is lower than the hundreds of cases that would be expected among the general population,” it read.
Authorities in Sicily, Italy, also seized batches last week of the vaccine after two men reportedly fell ill after getting the shot.
The UK firm and Oxford, which helped develop the vaccine, stated that there’s no connection between the vaccine and reports of severe blood clotting.
But France, Italy, Spain, and Germany halted the vaccine’s usage on March 15 due to precautions following the reports of adverse effects among recipients.
Denmark’s health agency said that a 60-year-old woman who died after receiving the shot suffered from a blood clot. The unnamed woman had “highly unusual” symptoms, according to the Danish Medicines Agency.
The agency reported that the woman had a low number of blood platelets and clots in small and large vessels, as well as bleeding.
“It was an unusual course of illness around the death that made the Danish Medicines Agency react,” it said in a statement on March 14, as reported by AFP.
AstraZeneca said on March 15 that it had conducted a review of more than 17 million people who were vaccinated in the EU and UK, saying it showed no evidence of a higher risk of blood clots.
The EU’s European Medicines Agency (EMA) said last week that it’s investigating around 30 reported cases of blood clotting, adding that the “vaccine’s benefits currently still outweigh risks.”
French President Emmanuel Macron said the EMA was expected to create a recommendation about the vaccine on March 16 and also announced the suspension of usage in the country.
“The decision has been made … to suspend the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a precaution, hoping that we can resume its use quickly if the judgment of the EMA allows it,” he said on March 15.