AstraZeneca’s one batch of Covid vaccine has been suspended by Austrian health authorities following reports of a death and an illness after receiving vaccination, reports said.
The issues were reported in the district clinic of Zwettl in Lower Austria province.
The Federal Office for Safety in Health Care in the country said the remaining stocks of the affected AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine batch are no longer being issued or vaccinated as a precautionary measure while it is investigating the cases.
As per reports, a 49-year-old woman died due to severe coagulation disorders, while a 35-year-old woman is recovering after developing a pulmonary embolism. Both are said to be nurses who worked at the Zwettl clinic.
Meanwhile, AstraZeneca spokesman reportedly said that all batches are subject to strict and rigorous quality controls, and that there have been no confirmed serious adverse events associated with the vaccine.
AstraZeneca, whose Covid vaccine has been found to be safe and effective in trials and approved for use in over 50 countries, said it is in contact with Austrian authorities and supports the investigation.
The World Health Organization or WHO had listed the AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use in mid February. The relatively inexpensive vaccine’s hundreds of millions of doses are now being rolled out globally through COVAX, a global coronavirus vaccine sharing initiative targeting poorer countries.
The AstraZeneca/Oxford’s vaccine called ChAdOx1-S has been found to have 63.09% efficacy in trials. According to WHO, the vaccine is suitable for low- and middle-income countries due to easy storage requirements.
Recently, the European Union and the Italian Government blocked AstraZeneca’s efforts to supply Covid-19 vaccine doses from its Italian unit to Australia, citing Australia being non-vulnerable region and delays in domestic supply, among others.
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