Norway postpones decision on AstraZeneca vaccine

Norway postpones decision on AstraZeneca vaccine


OSLO- Norway will take more time to assess whether to resume the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 or stop it altogether, health minister Bent Hoeie said on Thursday.

Norway's Institute of Public Health recommended ending the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but the government needs more information before making a final decision, he said.

Authorities on March 11 suspended the rollout of the vaccine 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. 

"The government believes that we do not have a good enough basis for drawing a final conclusion that the AstraZeneca vaccine should be removed from the Norwegian vaccination program at this point," Hoeie told a news conference.

The government will appoint a public commission to broaden the evaluation and include additional information from other countries. The commission will deliver a report by May 10, Hoeie said.

"We have to be open to waiting for the international knowledge, and we must be open for the fact that this can lead to these vaccines being used," he added.

(Reporting by Gwladys Fouche and Victoria Klesty, editing by Terje Solsvik) ((; +47 21 04 05 53; Reuters Messaging: Twitter handle: @gfouche))

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