Slovakia suspends use of AstraZeneca following death

Currently, less than 23% of the population received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. [Shutterstock/Dimitris Barletis]

Slovakia has temporarily stopped the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine after a 47-year-old woman who had been vaccinated with the AstraZeneca jab died from cerebral venous sinus thrombosis.

Only those who have already received a first dose of the vaccine will be fully vaccinated with AstraZeneca, the health ministry announced Tuesday.

“According to initial information, this patient suffered from a genetic disorder that was not detectable before vaccination,“ Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský told a press conference on Friday. Under Slovak rules, Astrazeneca was being administered to people aged 18 to 45.

It is not yet clear how the decision will affect the vaccination strategy in the country. The health ministry said it is now “considering several alternatives” and will announce further measures and possible changes or adjustments to the strategy later this week.

Currently, less than 23% of the population have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. According to the National Centre for Health Information (NCZI), only 248,000 are currently registered in the online “waiting room“ for the vaccination.

So far, more than 440,000 people have been vaccinated with the first jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and more than 38,000 with a second shot. Most people have been vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty) vaccine.  (Marián Koreň | EURACTIV.sk)

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