Norway’s health agency said the country should stop using the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, coming after the World Health Organization and European Medicines Agency have said the benefits of the shot outweigh its risks.
“There is now significantly more knowledge about the connection between the AstraZeneca vaccine and the rare and serious incidents of low platelets, blood clots, and bleeding than when Norway chose to put further use of the AstraZeneca vaccine on pause in March,” said Geir Bukholm, director of infection control at Norway’s National Institute of Public Health, in a statement to news outlets.
He added that “based on this knowledge, we have arrived at a recommendation that the AstraZeneca vaccine be removed from the coronary vaccination programme in Norway.”
A spokesperson for AstraZeneca told The Epoch Times on Friday that it’s up “for each country to decide based on local conditions” regarding whether to use the firm’s COVID-19 vaccine after Bukholm’s comments about the shot.
The spokesperson added: “We will continue to collaborate with the regulators and local authorities in order to provide all available data to inform their decisions.”
AstraZeneca added that that health regulators in Europe “confirmed that the benefits of the vaccine in preventing COVID-19 far outweigh the risks, and people should continue to get vaccinated when asked to do so.”
Norwegian authorities in early March suspended the rollout of the vaccine after people who received the shot were hospitalized with blood clots and a low count of platelets. Three cases were fatal, officials said, according to Euronews.
On Wednesday, Denmark became the first country in Europe to totally drop the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“Overall, we must say that the results show that there is a real and serious side effect signal in the vaccine from AstraZeneca,” said Danish health official Soren Brostrom, in a statement. “Based on an overall consideration, we have therefore chosen to continue the vaccination programme for all target groups without this vaccine.”
Danish officials previously said that two people who had received the AstraZeneca vaccine suffered from severe blood clots. One of them died, they said last month.
A spokesperson for the pharmaceutical giant told The Epoch Times: “We recognize and respect the decision taken by Sundhedsstyrelsen in Denmark. Implementation and rollout of the vaccine programme is a matter for each country to decide, based on local conditions. We will continue to collaborate with the regulators and local authorities to provide all available data to inform their decisions.”
COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.