Although no causal link has been found between blood clots and the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, several European nations have decided to suspend its use out of an abundance of caution.
Germany, France, Italy, and Spain recently halted the use of the vaccine following reports of blood clots in vaccinated people’s brains.
There have been 37 blood clot reports among more than 17 million doses administered in the EU and the U.K.
The bans are likely to be temporary. The European Medicines Agency has recommended the continued use of the vaccine, stating that the vaccines outweigh the possible risks. The agency will likely offer its interpretation of the blood clot reports this week.
The World Health Organization has also stated that it, to date, has found no links between blood clots and the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was jointed developed with Oxford University.
The incidence of blood clots in AstraZeneca vaccine recipients is in line with — or lower than — the rate in the general population.
Also in Europe, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, and Bulgaria have decided to temporarily halt the vaccine’s use.
Outside of Europe, Thailand and Congo have done the same.
Last month, South Africa stopped its own rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine for a different reason: Authorities were worried that the vaccine was not effective against a variant circulating widely in the country.