The list of countries suspending use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine continues to grow – as blood clots become a major concern among many vaccinated patients.
Germany, France and Italy on Monday became the latest countries to announce the suspension AstraZeneca vaccinations with several other countries previously terminating the company’s COVID-19 vaccine due to blood clots and variant efficacy concerns.
“Today’s decision is a purely precautionary measure,” German Health Minister Jens Spahn said. “The most important thing for confidence is transparency.”
In Europe, there have been 37 reports of blood clots out of the total 17 million vaccinated individuals. Blood clots can trigger other major problems in the body, from heart attacks to deadly blockages in the the lungs. While many countries are taking precautionary measures, AstraZeneca and European regulators say there is no evidence that the shot is to blame for the health issues, according to the Associated Press.
Bulgaria, Congo, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands and Norway last week temporarily halted such vaccines to allow time to investigate the reports.
While more countries made the decision to stop the vaccine’s distribution on Monday, Britain is remaining committed to their authorization of the vaccine.
AstraZeneca is expected to apply for authorization in the U.S. in the coming days, leaving doubts to whether the Food and Drug Administration will still allow the drug with the health concerns appearing overseas.