Denmark to continue suspension of AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccines over ‘possible harmful effects’

Denmark announced on Friday that it will continue to suspend its use of the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines, citing “possible harmful effects” which are too much of a concern compared to the benefits.

The Danish Health Authority declared in a statement that the “balance between possible benefit and possible harmful effects is still not favorable” with the two vaccines, “even when we include assumptions in our analyses that are in favor of the vaccine.”

It went on to say that based on US and EU data, along with other health authority assessments, the Danish Health Authority can say “with certainty” that both the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines – known officially as Vaxzevria and Janssen respectively – can cause VITT syndrome, or thrombotic thrombocytopenia.

“Based on available data, there is no evidence that there is a gender difference in relation to the risk of VITT, but it must generally be assumed that the risk is greater in younger people than in older people,” the Health Authority continued, before concluding that those who still choose to get vaccinated with either of the two vaccines should be informed that they’re “not generally recommended by the National Board of Health.”

In April, Denmark became the first European country to permanently suspend its use of the AstraZeneca vaccine after a number of cases of “unusual blood clots, bleeding,” and “low blood platelets counts” in those who had received the jabs.

“Our overall assessment is there is a real risk of severe side effects associated with using the Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca,” said Danish Health Authority Director General Soeren Brostroem at the time – the following month, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine received similar treatment.