Portugal has announced that it is suspending the inoculation of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine as a “precaution,” joining other European countries – including France, Germany, Italy and Spain – in halting its use following reports of blood clots post inoculation.
“Portuguese health authorities today decided to suspend the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19 for reasons of precaution and public health,” Portugal’s national health authority said Monday in a statement.
According to the national health authority, the decision was taken “due to reports of the appearance of blood clots in vaccinated people.”
The decision comes despite assertions from the United Kingdom’s Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunizations (JCVI) that the vaccine has been “rigorously tested for safety.”
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) also said Monday that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh the risks, adding that the number of people developing blood clots after vaccination does not seem to be higher than in the general population.
The agency said it would hold an emergency meeting on Thursday to advise on “any further actions that may need to be taken.”