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Covid: Denmark to SWAP unwanted AstraZeneca vaccine as Sweden offers


Denmark is looking to swap its unwanted AstraZeneca jabs for other coronavirus vaccines owned by other countries after ditching it entirely over blood clot fears.

Meanwhile, it was announced by the Swedish Health Agency on Tuesday that Swedes under 65 who have had one shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be given a different vaccine for their second dose.

The announcements from the two Scandinavian countries come amid fears over very rare cases of the AstraZeneca vaccine causing blood clots in patients.

Last week, Denmark completely ceased to administer the jab as part of its vaccination programme due to the possible health risk, joining The Netherlands and Norway in completely blocking its use.

Denmark is looking to swap its unwanted AstraZeneca jabs for other coronavirus vaccines owned by other countries after ditching it entirely over blood clot fears. Pictured: Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen during a visit to the vaccination center in Roskilde Congress Center, Denmark, 12 April 2021

Denmark is looking to swap its unwanted AstraZeneca jabs for other coronavirus vaccines owned by other countries after ditching it entirely over blood clot fears. Pictured: Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen during a visit to the vaccination center in Roskilde Congress Center, Denmark, 12 April 2021

Denmark’s health minister Magnus Heunicke confirmed on Monday that discussions were taking place between Denmark and other nations over vaccine swaps.

‘Here and now, we still need safe and approved vaccines. That is Pfizer and Moderna at this time,’ Heunicke said, The Local reported.

‘If we can arrange a swap deal with other countries whereby we send AstraZeneca vaccines to them and we get some of their Pfizer vaccines, that would naturally be interesting,’ he added.

Heunicke said that ‘the sooner we can get the population vaccinated, the faster we can lift Denmark out of the pandemic’.

The minister did not reveal the identity of the countries that Denmark has opened talks with over a potential swap, but most countries in Europe are still using the vaccine, although many have restricted which age groups it is administered to.

‘It is too early to say whether we will be successful but it would certainly be of great interest for us,’ Heunicke said, adding that there has already been interest shown in acquiring Denmark’s vaccines by other countries.

‘As there are many countries around us which have an epidemic on a completely different level to Denmark,’ he said. 

Graphs showing Denmark's seven-day rolling average number of new daily coronavirus infections (top) and related deaths (bottom). As of Monday, Denmark has administered at total of 1.58 million Covid-19 jab doses to its almost 5.8 million population - a rate of 27.24 doses per 100 people, slightly higher than the European Union average of 25.66 per 100 people

Graphs showing Denmark’s seven-day rolling average number of new daily coronavirus infections (top) and related deaths (bottom). As of Monday, Denmark has administered at total of 1.58 million Covid-19 jab doses to its almost 5.8 million population – a rate of 27.24 doses per 100 people, slightly higher than the European Union average of 25.66 per 100 people

On Tuesday, Sweden announced that anyone under the age of 65 who has already been given their first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine would be offered an alternative for their second dose. 

Sweden paused the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in March after reports of rare, but serious, blood clots among people who had received that shot. It later resumed the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, but only for people aged 65 or above.

‘We have come to the conclusion that people under 65 who have already been vaccinated with AstraZeneca are recommended to receive a second dose of mRNA vaccine, such as Pfizer or Moderna,’ Chief Epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told a news conference.

He said that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine clearly outweighed the risks for people over 65.

Sweden, which has shunned lockdowns throughout the pandemic, is in the midst of a third wave of the pandemic which is straining the healthcare system.

The country registered 16,692 new coronavirus cases since Friday, health agency statistics showed on Tuesday, a decrease compared with 19,105 cases during the corresponding period last week.

While cases have been high, the Health Agency credits the vaccination scheme for keeping the number of deaths in recent…



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