AstraZeneca vaccine still on hold in Norway
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The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) will keep use of the AstraZeneca vaccine on hold in Norway and will continue a thorough review of the situation. An update will be provided at the end of week 12.
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On 11th March, the AstraZeneca vaccine was temporarily suspended by the NIPH following notification of a death after vaccination. Together with the Norwegian Medicines Agency, the NIPH began a thorough investigation into a possible association between the vaccine and serious side effects with blood clots, low platelet counts and bleeding.
Assessment from EMA
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) presented their assessment of the vaccine this afternoon (Thursday). Approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine has not changed, but the precautions associated with the vaccine’s use will be updated with a comment in the product specification. The EMA will also continue their investigations.
“We take EMA’s assessment into account. Due to the situation with several serious cases in Norway, we want to thoroughly review the situation before we make a conclusion. This will take some time, and we will provide an update at the end of next week,” says Geir Bukholm, Director of the Division of Infection Control at the NIPH.
Seek medical attention
The NIPH is asking anyone who has had the AstraZeneca vaccine and who feels unwell over time, has unusual bruising or signs of bleeding in the skin or other signs of serious illness to contact the health service for an assessment. The patients who had severe blood clots, haemorrhages and low platelet counts developed symptoms within 14 days of vaccination.
The Norwegian Medicines Agency is responsible for the marketing authorisation of vaccines. The NIPH assesses which vaccines are to be used in the coronavirus immunisation programme in Norway, and how they are to be used.