“Vaccination with AstraZeneca will remain on hold until we have a full picture of the situation,” its director, Camilla Stoltenberg, said at a press conference.
Neighboring Sweden also maintained the vaccine suspension.
“We will now review the information that comes out of the (EMA) study and hope that next week we will be able to decide how best to use this vaccine in the future,” he said. indicated epidemiologist Anders Tegnell.
According to the Swedish authorities, one person died after receiving a dose of AstraZeneca, without any link having been established so far with the vaccine.
“This is a case of a blood clot in the arteries and veins and heavy bleeding,” said Läkemedelsverket, the drug agency.
Earlier Thursday, a Norwegian medical team said they saw a link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots seen in seriously ill patients or even died within days of a first injection.
“We have obtained results which may explain the clinical course of our hospitalized patients,” said Paal Andre Holme, head of department at Oslo National Hospital, a few hours before the EMA press briefing.
“These results support our hypothesis (…) according to which these patients had a powerful immune response which led to the formation of antibodies which can affect the platelets and thus lead to a thrombus (blood clot)”, he said added.
Blame it on AstraZeneca’s vaccine? “I do not see any other possibility at this stage”, he said, specifying however that they were “clues”.
According to Norwegian media, these late results were not taken into account by the EMA.
The agency estimated that the Anglo-Swedish laboratory’s vaccine was “not associated” with a higher risk of a blood clot, but said it could not “definitively exclude” its role in rare bleeding disorders.
Norway, where some 120,000 people received a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, has had six cases of serious side effects, two of which were fatal.
All Nordic countries except Finland had suspended use of the vaccine due to fears of the blood clots. Denmark and Iceland have yet to make their position known after the EMA opinion.