Three health workers who received AstraZeneca vaccine in hospital with ‘unusual’ symptoms, Norway says: The Tribune India

Oslo, March 13

Three health workers in Norway who recently received the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 are being treated in hospital for bleeding, blood clots and low blood platelet counts, Norwegian health officials said on Saturday.

Norway halted the deployment of this vaccine on Thursday, following a similar initiative from Denmark. Iceland then followed suit.

“We don’t know if the cases are related to the vaccine,” said Sigurd Hortemo, chief medical officer of the Norwegian Medicines Agency, at a press conference jointly organized with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

All three individuals were under 50 years old.

European medicines regulator EMA is reportedly investigating all three incidents, Hortemo added.

“They have very unusual symptoms: bleeding, blood clots and low blood platelets,” Steinar Madsen, medical director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency, told NRK.

“They are quite sick … We take this very seriously,” he said, adding that authorities received notification of the cases on Saturday.

AstraZeneca was not immediately available for comment.

Prior to the move from Denmark and Norway, Austria stopped using a batch of AstraZeneca vaccine while investigating death from bleeding disorders and disease from pulmonary embolism.

Still, the EMA said on Thursday that the vaccine’s benefits outweighed its risks and could continue to be given.

Europe is struggling to speed up a vaccine rollout after delays in deliveries from Pfizer and AstraZeneca, even as a spike in cases amid a more contagious virus variant has triggered new lockdowns in countries like the ‘Italy and France.