Denmark still administers AstraZeneca’s vaccine on a voluntary basis
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Denmark still administers AstraZeneca’s vaccine on a voluntary basis

Credit: Belga

The Danish health authorities announced on Monday that AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine can still be given to people who want it, despite the country’s decision to scrap the vaccine from its strategy.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Denmark announced that it would completely stop using AstraZeneca’s vaccine, after it had first temporarily suspended its use, following reports of blood clots in very rare cases.

Denmark on Wednesday also pointed to these “rare” but “serious” side effects of the vaccine to justify its decision to scrap it, despite advice from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the WHO in favour of its use.

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On Monday, however, the Danish Ritzau news agency reported that authorities are still considering AstraZeneca’s vaccine for people who want to be vaccinated with it on a voluntary basis.

In Belgium, the different health ministers decided to continue using the company’s vaccine, but only for people over 55 years old for the time being.

By the start of May, Belgium’s Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke hopes to have “a better analysis from the European Union on the AstraZeneca vaccine for different age groups.” The decision is expected to have “minimal impact” on the country’s vaccination rollout, as mainly elderly people are being vaccinated.

In the meantime, however, people younger than 56 years old who already had an appointment to get vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s vaccine and explicitly want to keep their time slot, can also still get the jab.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times