Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

Britons told to keep getting vaccines after some countries suspend AstraZeneca shots

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Patients are greeted by Abbey staff outside a vaccination centre at Westminster Abbey, amid the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain, March 10, 2021. REUTERS/John Sibley

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LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) - The UK's medicine regulator said on Thursday that Britons should keep on getting their COVID-19 vaccines, including the shot developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca, after Denmark and some other countries restricted their use of it.

Denmark is suspending for two weeks the use of AstraZeneca's (AZN.L) vaccine after reports of the formation of blood clots in some who have been vaccinated, including one death in Denmark, Danish authorities said. read more

Norway joined Denmark in halting its roll-out of the shot after reports of blood clots, while Italy banned a batch of the vaccine after notifications of some serious adverse effects. read more

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Britain's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said it was not confirmed that the reported blood clot in Denmark was caused by the vaccine, adding that the Danish suspension was precautionary.

"Blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon," said Phil Bryan, MHRA Vaccines Safety Lead, adding that more than 11 million doses of the vaccine had been administered across the UK and that reports of blood clots were not greater than would have occurred naturally.

"We are keeping this issue under close review but available evidence does not confirm that the vaccine is the cause. People should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so."

Austria earlier in the week halted a batch of the shot, but the European Medicines Agency said on Wednesday there was no evidence so far linking AstraZeneca's vaccine to illnesses in two people who received it in Austria. read more

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Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Giles Elgood

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