In accordance to the steps taken by other European countries, Sweden suspended vaccinations with the AstraZeneca jab in mid-March due to the reports of severe blood clots allegedly connected to the vaccine.
Last week, it was declared by the EU drugs regulator EMA that the vaccine was “safe and effective” and not connected to a higher risk of blood clots, but could not “rule out definitively” its role in a rare clotting disorder.
While many other nations resumed using the AstraZeneca vaccine following the EMA’s announcement, Nordic countries maintained their suspensions pending further checks.
“AstraZeneca is a very effective vaccine, and there is a great need for protection against Covid-19 among the elderly. Especially now when we are seeing an increased spread of transmission,” state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell disclosed this in a press conference on Thursday as he revealed inoculations should resume.
Those above 65 years would be restricted from using the jab pending further investigations. The reports of complications among those younger than that age would continue to be investigated.
“We are continuing the pause in that group until we have more information about what the risks actually are,” Tegnell said.
Earlier this week, similar announcements were made by Finland and Iceland while on Thursday, Denmark said it was pushing further its total suspension for another three weeks.
A decision from Norway is expected on Friday.
According to data from the World Health Organization, Sweden has seen an incidence rate in the last 14 days of 604 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, an increase of 16 percent.
Sweden, which is a country with 10.3 million inhabitants, has so far recorded 773,690 cases of Covid-19 and 13,373 associated deaths.
Vaccinations began in late December and as of Wednesday 9.8 percent of the population have received a first dose, while 4.2 percent have successfully been completely vaccinated.