Norway ought to exclude J&J, AstraZeneca from COVID vaccination scheme, says fee

Oslo, May 10

Norway should exclude the COVID-19 vaccines made by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson in its inoculation program due to a risk of rare but harmful side-effects, a government-appointed commission said on Monday.

Those who would volunteer to take either of the two vaccines should however be allowed to do so, the commission added.

Authorities on March 11 suspended the AstraZeneca rollout after a small number of younger inoculated people were hospitalised for a combination of blood clots, bleeding and a low count of platelets, some of whom later died.

On April 15, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health said the AstraZeneca vaccine should be dropped entirely but the government instead sought further advice, including on the jabs made by J&J which the country has yet to adopt.

“The government will use this as basis for its decision, together with recommendations from the Institute of Public Health, on whether to use these vaccines,” Health Minister Bent Hoeie told a news conference.

A study in Denmark and Norway found slightly increased rates of vein blood clots among people who have had the first dose of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, including clots in the brain, compared with expected rates in the general population. Reuters

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