The Icelandic Directorate of Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health announced on Thursday that they are suspending the use of all AstraZeneca vaccines while the European Medicines Agency investigates reports of a patient in Denmark dying of blood clots after being inoculated.
Although there have been no reports of patients developing blood clots in Iceland, Kjartan Njálsson, assistant to the director of health in Iceland, told CNN that they are waiting for advice from the European Medicines Agency. “Right now, it’s the lack of data that concerns us,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health released a statement saying that the country had decided to “pause” inoculations with the AstraZeneca vaccine after a death in Denmark due to a blood clot.
Blood clots have been identified in Norway shortly after receiving a Covid-19 vaccine, according to the Norwegian statement, but “mainly in the elderly where there is often another underlying disease as well.”
Norway and Iceland have not stated how long the suspension will be in effect.
Danish Health Minister Magnus Heunicke announced earlier on Thursday that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will be suspended for 14 days as a “precautionary measure” while the country investigates “signs of a potential serious side effect in the form of fatal blood clots.”
While several European countries have halted vaccine use due to evidence of blood clots in a few patients, Denmark, Iceland, and Norway are the first to halt use of all AstraZeneca vaccines.
On Wednesday, the European Medicines Agency said there was “currently no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions, which are not listed as side effects with this vaccine.”