Netherlands suspends use of AstraZeneca vaccine

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The Netherlands has become the latest country to suspend use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine.

This comes as concerns over side effects over the vaccine grow.

The World Health Organization and Europe’s medicines regulator say there is no indication of a link between the vaccine and reports of blood clots.

The Dutch government said the move, which will last until at least 29 March, was a precaution, BBC reported.

The Irish Republic took similar action over blood clotting reports in Norway.

Similar moves have been taken by Denmark, Norway, Bulgaria, Iceland, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Thailand. Several other European countries, including Italy and Austria, have suspended the use of certain batches of the drug as a precautionary measure.

About 17 million people in the European Union and the UK have received a dose of the vaccine, with less than 40 cases of blood clots reported as of last week, AstraZeneca said.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) – which is currently carrying out a review into incidents of blood clots – said the vaccine could continue to be administered. It said the incidents of clotting in vaccinated people was “no higher than the number seen in the general population”.

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