Piedmont Region in Italy Suspends Use of AstraZeneca

The Piedmont region in northern Italy has suspended on March 14 the use of COVID-19 vaccines developed by AstraZeneca after a teacher died following her vaccination a day before, the regional government announced.

The regional government said in a statement that the measure was precautionary and that they were waiting for verification if there is a link between the death and the vaccination.

“It is an act of extreme prudence, while we verify whether there is a connection. There have been no critical issues with the administration of vaccines to date,” Regional Health Counciler Luigi Genesio Icardi stated.

The teacher received the vaccine last March 13, then died a day later at the town of Biella in Piedmont.

Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) released a statement later in the day, describing the alarm on the safety of the vaccine as “not justified” because “no causality was demonstrated between the two events.”

“AIFA strongly reassures citizens about the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine for optimal adherence to the current vaccination campaign,” the agency stated.

The move follows similar decisions made by several European countries, including Norway, Denmark, and Iceland, due to reports of the development of blood clots among those who received the vaccine.

Thailand has also suspended the use of the vaccine, becoming the first country outside Europe to do so.

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