COVID-19 May 12, 2021 | 2:38 pm

AstraZeneca’s vaccine waived, Janssen’s suspended

The Norwegian government has definitively withdrawn AstraZeneca’s vaccine and suspended Janssen’s (J&J) vaccine on Wednesday, the country’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg confirmed at a press conference on the covid-19 situation.

Solberg appealed to the excellent coronavirus epidemic situation and the availability of sufficient other vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) to justify the exclusion of AstraZeneca’s vaccine. Solberg also ruled out the possibility of receiving it voluntarily. In the case of Janssen, she pointed out that more information on the vaccine and its effects is needed before a final decision can be made, and he opened the possibility of establishing a voluntary system once these issues are clarified.

“The government has decided that the AstraZeneca vaccine will not be used in Norway, also not on a voluntary basis. The rare but serious effects we have seen in Norway show that the risk does not outweigh the benefit,” Solberg said.

After a report against the use of both serums

This decision comes after a commission of experts set up by Norwegian authorities recommended on Monday that covid-19 vaccines in both sera be removed from the official program because of abnormal cases of thrombosis detected.

Norway suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine on March 11, after Denmark did the same, having detected abnormal cases of thrombosis with low platelet counts, clots in blood vessels, and bleeding.

When the Danish authorities prolonged the suspension at the end of March, despite the fact that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) considered its use safe and many countries resumed it, Norway followed in the footsteps of its neighboring country. Finally, Denmark withdrew the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine last April and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine last Thursday.

This decision comes after a commission of experts set up by the Norwegian authorities recommended on Monday that the covid-19 vaccines in both sera be withdrawn from the official program because of the abnormal cases of thrombosis detected.

Norway suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine on March 11, after Denmark did the same, having detected abnormal cases of thrombosis with low platelet counts, clots in blood vessels, and bleeding.

When the Danish authorities prolonged the suspension at the end of March, even though the European Medicines Agency (EMA) considered its use safe and many countries resumed it, Norway followed in the footsteps of its neighboring country. Finally, Denmark withdrew the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine last April and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine last Thursday.

Changes in vaccination strategy
Solberg noted that Norway, which is part of the European Economic Area (EEA) but not the European Union, will now consider what to do with the leftover AstraZeneca doses and was open to the possibility that they could be distributed to developing countries through the Global Vaccine Alliance’s (GAVI) COVAX mechanism.

During her appearance, the Prime Minister also revealed other changes in the vaccination program, which will mean that the most affected municipalities will receive 60% more doses and that the 18-25 age group will be prioritized because it is one of the groups that contribute most to the spread and mobility of the infection. Norway is one of the countries least affected in Europe by the pandemic, with 117,494 cases and 774 deaths, with a rate of 14.4 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.