All booked vaccinations with the AstraZeneca vaccine will be canceled, but the decision was not based on safety concerns, the Danish health authority said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We basically agree with EMAs [European Medicine Agency] Assessment regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine. So it is important to emphasize that it is still an approved vaccine [in Europe] ”said Søren Brostrøm, Director General of the Danish Health Authority.” And I understand if other countries in a different situation from us continue to use the vaccine. “
The Danish health authority stopped using AstraZeneca on March 11th and the Danish vaccination efforts with the vaccines from Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna continued.
“If Denmark is in a completely different situation, for example in the middle of a violent third outbreak, and a health system is under pressure – and if we hadn’t reached such an advanced point in introducing vaccines – then I would hesitate anytime to use the vaccine even if there were rare but serious complications associated with its use, “Brostrøm said.
In an interview with the press on Wednesday, the Danish Medicines Agency and its National Health Agency presented the results of their investigations into AstraZeneca and the consequences they will have for the Danish vaccination program.
“It is our decision to continue the introduction of vaccinations in Denmark without AstraZeneca,” said Brostrøm. The case of a 60-year-old Danish woman who died after being vaccinated with AstraZeneca was “very tragic”.
Earlier this month, the EMA concluded that the benefits of using the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine continued to outweigh the risks. The Danish Health Authority agrees with the agency’s general findings and that the potential benefits of AstraZeneca in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic continue to outweigh the risk of serious adverse events.
Brostrøm said the AstraZeneca vaccine had not been completely scrapped, but the vaccine had been voted out of “the specific Danish context”.
Brostrøm called it “a milestone” that “we have now reached 1,000,000 Danes vaccinated,” and said trust in vaccines is important.
“If you are vaccinating in bulk, it is important to have a high level of support and trust in the vaccines,” he said.
The decision by the Danish Health and Medicines Agency to stop using the AstraZeneca vaccine takes a number of factors into account, including Denmark’s low infection rate.
“It is not due to the fact that we have fundamental differences of opinion with one another,” Tanja Erichsen, head of pharmacovigilance, told the press on Wednesday. “The decision made in Denmark does not mean that the Danish Medicines Agency does not agree with the EMA.”
Erichsen made the comments just before they appeared to collapse and fall at the press conference that was later addressed by the Danish Medicines Agency on Twitter.
“She is conscious again under the circumstances, but for safety reasons she is driving the ambulance to the emergency room to be checked.”