A batch of vaccines from AstraZeneca has been suspended in Austria until further notice. The decision was made by officials after one person’s death from the vaccine was reported while another suffered a pulmonary embolism. Four other EU countries—Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxembourg—have also suspended vaccinations from this batch, sent to 17 European countries and consisting of one million jabs.
Austrian authorities are currently investigating the death of a 49-year-old woman who died from severe coagulation disorders after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Officials in the country also are investigating the death of a 35-year-old woman who developed a pulmonary embolism after getting the vaccine. Pulmonary embolism is a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs become blocked by a blood clot. The woman is currently recovering.
Both women worked as nurses at a clinic in the town of Zwettl in Lower Austria, according to the newspaper Niederösterreichische Nachrichten.
“The Federal Office for Safety in Health Care (BASG) has received two reports in a temporal connection with a vaccination from the same batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the district clinic of Zwettl,” it said in a statement.
“Currently there is no evidence of a causal relationship with the vaccination,” BASG added.
The Austrian health agency said that blood clotting has not been a known side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine. People who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine reported experiencing common symptoms associated with the vaccine such as, sore patches around the injection site, muscle aches, fatigue and nausea.
Health care workers in France and Germany have reported experiencing flu-like symptoms after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is normal. These side effects also were observed in participants of the vaccine’s clinical trial.
A spokesman for AstraZeneca said it would cooperate with Austrian authorities and support the investigation. The spokesman wanting to reassure the population also added that all batches of its vaccine go through a rigorous quality control process.
The suspensions come as preliminary data from a study conducted at the University of Oxford indicated that the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine is effective against the P1, or Brazilian, variant, a source told Reuters.
Data from the University of Oxford study showed that the researchers would not need to modify the vaccine to protect people against the variant.