Cyprus suspends AstraZeneca vaccine pending EU agency review

FILE PHOTO: Vials labelled "AstraZeneca COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine" and a syringe in front of an AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken March 10, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

NICOSIA (Reuters) - Cyprus suspended AstraZeneca shots for COVID-19 on Monday pending a review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), its health ministry said.

The suspension, which followed a similar move on Monday by Germany, France and Italy, will last until March 18, when the EMA is due to issue a review of the vaccine following reports of thrombosis among some recipients in Europe, the ministry said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said there is no proven link and that people should not panic.

Cyprus’ inoculation programme with vaccines from Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna will continue, the health ministry said. There have been no publicly reported cases of any side effects from the AstraZeneca vaccine in Cyprus.

Norway and Denmark stopped giving AstraZeneca shots last week after reporting isolated cases of bleeding, blood clots and a low platelet count. Iceland and Bulgaria followed suit and Ireland and the Netherlands announced suspensions on Sunday.

Spain will stop administering the vaccine for at least 15 days, Cadena Ser radio reported, citing unnamed sources.

The top WHO scientist reiterated on Monday that there have been no documented deaths linked to any COVID-19 vaccines.

Writing By Michele Kambas; Editing by Gareth Jones