Denmark was the first country to suspend use of the AstraZeneca jab in mid-March, a decision then followed by more than a dozen other mostly European countries, after reports of blood clots potentially linked to the vaccine.
“We have today decided to extend our pause for another three weeks (until April 15th),” director of the Danish Health Authority Søren Brostrøm told a press conference.
The country’s current vaccination programme aims to have vaccinated everyone in the country who is eligible and wants a vaccine by the end of July. But the vaccination calendar will be effected if Denmark decides to stop using the AstraZeneca vaccine completely, Brostrøm said at Thursday’s briefing.
“If we take AstraZeneca completely out of the programme, the milestone at which everyone over 65 has been vaccinated will be pushed back by around two weeks,” he said.
According to the most recent version of the calendar, all people over the age of 65 will be vaccinated by May 16th.
But the director of the health authority also said that the vaccination calendar would not be greatly affected if the AstraZeneca vaccine is brought back into use.
“If we resume from April 15th, there will be at that point 220,000 vaccines in the refrigerators. We will be able to get them rolling quickly,” he said.
People who had reserved appointments for vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine will not receive rearranged appointments for the time being.
“The more than 140,000 people who have received (the first dose of) AstraZeneca will of course complete vaccination. If that’s not with AstraZeneca, it will be with another vaccine,” Brostrøm said.