The Netherlands and Ireland joined a host of countries temporarily halting the use of the vaccine following reports of blood clotting and low platelet count in Norway and Denmark.
The Netherlands became the latest country to suspend the use of the COVID-19 vaccine after reports from Denmark and Norway about possible serious side effects. The Dutch government said that it would suspend the use until March 29.
The move follows a clash between the police and anti-lockdown protesters in The Hague, a day before a three-day general election. The police arrested 20 people, used water cannon on protesters after they broke COVID-19 lockdown measures.
Ireland’s health officials recommended suspending the use of the COVID-19 vaccine after reports of blood clotting and lower blood platelet counts in Norway and Denmark.
Dr. Ronan Glynn, the country’s deputy chief medical officer, said that the suspension was recommended as a precaution as there was no conclusive link between the vaccine and the possible side effects.
AstraZeneca said on Sunday that there was no evidence of increased risk of blood clots from its vaccine, after a review of safety data of people vaccinated with its vaccine.
“A careful review of all available safety data of more than 17 million people vaccinated in the European Union and UK with the COVID-19 vaccine of AstraZeneca has shown no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis or thrombocytopenia, in any defined age group, gender, batch or in any particular country,” the company said.
Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Iceland have suspended the use of the vaccine, while Austria stopped using a batch of shots last week.
Brazil reported 1,127 new deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. Brazil recorded 12,818 deaths from the virus this week – pointing to a resurgence as bad as that of last year.
Brazil has now recorded 278,229 deaths from COVID-19.
The US’ top virologist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said on Sunday that former president Donald Trump should make an effort to persuade his supporters to get vaccinated. Fauci said that it would be a “game changer” if Trump used his “incredible influence” among Republicans.
Fauci made the comment after a poll showed that Trump supporters are more likely to refuse to get vaccinated.