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Iran Press TV

Sweden and Venezuela become latest states to shun AstraZeneca vaccine over safety concerns

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 16 March 2021 6:03 PM

After reports of abnormal blood clotting in recipients of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Sweden has become the latest European country to suspend the administration of the Oxford-made vaccine.

In addition, Venezuela declared on Monday (March 15) that it wouldn't authorize use of the AstraZeneca vaccine anymore.

The Swedish Public Health Agency announced in a report on Tuesday (March 16) that as a "precautionary measure" it has decided to suspend use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine until the European Medicines Agency (EMA) investigation into suspected negative side effects of blood clots has been completed.

Abnormal blood clotting can cause strokes, heart attacks and other potentially fatal health events such as uncontrolled bleeding in the brain.

Sweden and Venezuela's decision comes on the heels of the suspension of the vaccine's rollout on safety grounds in a wide range of countries including France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Latvia.

In view of intensifying post-Brexit tensions between the UK and the EU, the member states' decision to suspend the British-made vaccine could be, at least in part, informed by political considerations.

In that context, a number of British tabloid newspapers have heaped scorn on the European countries' decision to discontinue usage of the AstraZeneca vaccine, branding it as "shameful" and "reckless".

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