What Happened: Denmark and Norway stopped giving the shot last week after reporting a couple of cases of bleeding, blood clots, and a low platelet count. Iceland and Bulgaria followed suit, and Ireland and the Netherlands announced suspensions on Sunday.
Out of precaution, French President Emmanuel Macron said that France is suspending inoculation using AZN jab until Tuesday afternoon when the European Medicines Agency will issue its recommendation over the vaccine.
This move by some of Europe’s largest countries will deepen the already tripping slow rollout of vaccines in the region that will further increase the trouble due to the supply shortage.
Austria and Spain have stopped using particular batches, and prosecutors Piedmont region earlier seized 393,600 doses following the death of a man, hours after he was vaccinated.
Thailand said to move with the AZN shot after suspending its use on Friday, but Indonesia said it would wait for the WHO to report.
Why It Matters: The WHO’s advisory panel is reviewing the reports related to the shot and would release its findings as soon as possible. But it said it was unlikely to change its recommendations, issued last month.
After the review of safety data, the European Medicines Agency said that the data showed no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, or thrombocytopenia.
Last week, AstraZeneca said it now aims to supply 30 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union by the end of March, down from a contractual obligation of 90 million and a revised commitment made last month to deliver 40 million doses.
Separately, Reuters reported that Europe is turning to Russia’s Sputnik V shot as a possible move to get its sluggish vaccination drive back on track.
Though, publicly, the European Union has dismissed Russia’s global coronavirus vaccine campaign.
AstraZeneca’s U.S. COVID-19 vaccine trial data is currently under review by independent monitors.
If the data are positive, FDA could complete its reviews and issue an emergency use authorization in about a month.
Price Action: AZN shares are trading 0.31% higher at $48.57 in market trading hours on the last check Monday.