Spain to keep using AstraZeneca vaccine, no blood clot cases reported

Inti Landauro and Joan Faus, Reuters

Posted at Mar 11 2021 09:39 PM

MADRID- Spain has registered no cases of blood clots related to AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine so far and will continue administering the shots, Health Minister Carolina Darias said on Thursday.

She spoke shortly after Danish health authorities announced that they had suspended using the vaccine produced by Anglo-Swedish firm AstraZeneca after several cases of blood clots, including one death.

Darias told La Sexta TV that minor side-effects from the AstraZeneca shot have been reported in Spain and that she had been informed of cases of blood clots among vaccinated people in Austria, but "so far, no causal relation between the vaccine and the blood clot events has been established".

Darias said the European Union's medicines regulator EMA was evaluating the situation.

As the vaccine rollout has picked up speed in Spain, some regions have begun lifting restrictions on economic and social activity as the impact of the pandemic has ebbed in one of the countries most battered by the virus, with over 71,000 deaths.

Catalonia's regional government said on Thursday it would allow non-essential small shops to open on weekends and people who live together to move freely within the northeastern region from March 15. Currently, people cannot leave the county where their municipality is located except for work or health reasons.

"There's been a slow but constant rhythm of decrease," Catalonia's chief health officer Alba Verges told a press briefing.

The new measures will last for two weeks while other restrictions remain in place, such as a night curfew and a ban on leaving the region.

All semi-autonomous regions of Spain apart from the capital Madrid have banned departures by residents during the upcoming two long holiday weekends.

With an average of 207 cases in the past 14 days, Catalonia is the Spanish region with the second highest infection rate after Madrid. 

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