Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

Spain to halt AstraZeneca vaccine for 15 days - Cadena Ser

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Empty vials of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine are seen in a tray during a mass vaccination campaign at Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain, February 25, 2021. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

MADRID, March 15 (Reuters) - Spain will stop using AstraZeneca’s (AZN.L) COVID-19 vaccine for at least 15 days, Cadena Ser radio reported on Monday, citing unnamed sources.

Health Minister Carolina Darias was due to provide an update later on Monday, as a growing list of countries stop administering the shot amid concerns of severe adverse effects.

The Health Ministry declined to comment.

France, Germany and Italy on Monday joined Denmark, Norway and several others in halting use of the drug after reports of blood clots in some patients who had received the vaccine.

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

The WHO appealed to countries not to suspend vaccinations against a disease that has caused more than 2.7 million deaths worldwide.

Last week Darias said her administration was monitoring the situation but had only detected light side-effects such as headaches, dizziness and intestinal trouble.

Nevertheless, several Spanish regions decided to stop using the vaccine until more information became available.

Europe's EMA medicines regulator said it would meet on Thursday to analyse the situation and reaffirmed its view that the benefits of the drug outweigh the risks.

Reporting by Nathan Allen; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne

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