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Denmark mulls J&J, AstraZeneca jab use

Denmark’s government has asked the country’s health authorities to reconsider a decision to exclude Johnson & Johnson’s and AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shots from its vaccination program.

The move was prompted by a two-week delay in the Danish vaccination program to September due to delivery of fewer Moderna and CureVac vaccines than expected, Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said.

Denmark excluded the J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines over a potential link to a rare but serious form of blood clot.

“We are now further into the epidemic and the vaccines from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca have now been in use in Europe for some time,” Heunicke said.

“There is a larger data base worldwide to assess the effect and side effects of the vaccines,” he said.

The health authority concluded in early May that the benefits of using the COVID-19 vaccines did not outweigh the risk of causing the possible adverse effect in those who receive the vaccine.

Excluding the J&J vaccine, which accounts for around a third of Denmark’s total contracted supplies of COVID-19 shots, delayed the country’s vaccination calendar by up to four weeks, the health authority said.

Denmark had vaccinated 21 per cent of its population as of Monday.

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