Analysis – Countries resuming use of AstraZeneca vaccine after blood clot investigation

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March 19 (Reuters) – Many countries are resuming use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine after the European Medicines Agency and the World Health Organization said the benefits outweighed the risks following investigations into reports of blood clots.

At least 17 countries in Europe had suspended or delayed use of the vaccine after reports of people being admitted to hospitals with clotting issues and bleeding after being inoculated.

AstraZeneca and the EMA have said concerns about coagulation disorders did not emerge in human trials, with the WHO recommending inoculations continue as the global coronavirus death toll passes 2.8 million.

Below is a list of countries and regions to resume using the vaccine, in alphabetical order:

BULGARIA:

To resume inoculations from March 19 after the head of the Bulgarian Medicines Agency said an investigation into the death of a Bulgarian woman hours after she got an AstraZeneca shot did not establish a direct link to the inoculation.

CYPRUS:

Cyprus, which suspended the vaccine on March 15, will restart administering it on March 19.

FRANCE:

France’s medical regulator approved the resumed use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine on Friday, but said it should only be given to people aged 55 and older.

GERMANY: Germany said it would resume administering the AstraZeneca vaccine from Friday morning.

INDONESIA:

To resume use of AstraZeneca vaccine after reviewing blood clot concerns.

IRELAND:

Ireland expects to announce on Friday its decision on whether to resume the rollout of the vaccine, after suspending it on Sunday.

ITALY:

Italy will resume using the vaccine from Friday, Prime Minister Mario Draghi said.

LATVIA:

Latvia also said it would restart administering the shots.

LITHUANIA:

Lithuania’s health minister said the country will restart administering the vaccine and people will be able to pick their vaccine starting Friday.

THE NETHERLANDS:

The Dutch health minister on Thursday said the Netherlands would resume using the AstraZeneca AZN.L COVID-19 vaccine next week now that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said the shot is still safe after a review.

SPAIN:

Spain will resume administering AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine from next Wednesday, Health Minister Carolina Darias said on Thursday.

THAILAND:

Went ahead with the vaccine on March 15, after having delayed the rollout the week before.

Below is a list of countries and regions where suspensions continue for now, in alphabetical order:

AUSTRIA:

Suspended use of one batch of the vaccine on March 7 after the death of one person and the illness of another. That batch was shipped to 17 EU countries.

DENMARK:

Denmark will keep its two-week suspension of the COVID-19 vaccine and decide on its future use next week after more investigations, the head of its health agency said on Friday.

FINLAND:

Suspended use of the vaccine while it investigates two possible cases of blood clots, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare said on Friday.

GEORGIA:

Georgia has limited the use of the vaccine after a nurse died of anaphylactic shock, news agency TASS reported on Friday. Another report by news agency RIA said the interior ministry has opened an investigation.

ICELAND:

Suspended vaccine use on March 11 following halt by Norway and awaits results of an investigation by European regulators.

NORWAY:

Health authorities said on March 17 said it was too soon to say if the vaccine causes blood clots after halting rollout on March 11. They were considering whether to continue using the shot in its national programme because of delivery delays, irrespective of the results of probes.

ROMANIA:

Temporarily stopped vaccinating people with one batch of vaccine on March 11.

SWEDEN:

Sweden needs “a few days” to decide whether to restart using the vaccine, and will likely make a decision next week.

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka and Yadarisa Shabong, Manas Mishra, Mrinalika Roy and Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; Editing by Josephine Mason, Barbara Lewis, Philippa Fletcher and Shinjini Ganguli)