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AstraZeneca Vaccine Halted in Norway and Denmark

Use of the vaccine from AstraZeneca and Oxford University was suspended in Norway and Denmark after reports that some people in Austria suffered severe blood clots.
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AstraZeneca  (AZN) - Get Astrazeneca PLC Sponsored ADR Report shares fell Thursday, after Norway followed Denmark in suspending use of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID vaccine amid reports that some people taking the treatment suffered severe blood clots.

American depositary receipts of AstraZeneca recently traded at $48.96, down 1.7%.

Vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine is put on hold for Norway,” Norway’s National Institute of Public Health wrote on Twitter

As for Denmark, its Health and Medicines Authority suspended the vaccine for two weeks.

“Right now we need all the vaccines we can get. Therefore, putting one of the vaccines on pause is not an easy decision,” Søren Brostrøm, director of the National Board of Health, said in a statement.

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“But precisely because we vaccinate so many, we also need to respond with timely care when there is knowledge of possible serious side effects. We need to clarify this before we can continue to use the vaccine from AstraZeneca.”

This stems from reports of blood clots in Austria, which caused the suspension of a specific batch in the country, Politico reports. 

After that, several other European countries stopped their rollout of that batch, but Denmark represents the first nation to halt all AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccinations.

The European Medicines Agency is looking into the reports and said Wednesday that current information shows no connection between the batch and the blood clots, according to Politico.

In other COVID news Thursday, Vir Biotechnology  (VIR) - Get Vir Biotechnology, Inc. Report reported progress in a Phase 3 trial of a COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment it is developing with GlaxoSmithKline  (GSK) - Get GlaxoSmithKline plc Sponsored ADR Report.

The trial “demonstrated an 85% reduction in hospitalization or death in patients receiving [the drug] compared to placebo,” the companies said.