Malta will not be suspending vaccinations using the AstraZeneca vaccine, insisting that there was no evidence indicating that this was unsafe.
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Austria have all suspended administration of the vaccine after some patients were reported to have developed blood clots following vaccination. The specific batch – ABV5300 – consists of one million doses and has been delivered to 17 countries, Malta included.
In a statement, the Health Ministry pointed out that the batch which has been suspended by other European countries was administered locally some weeks ago, with none still to be used.
“Health authorities have received no reports of complications from the individuals administered this batch of the vaccine,” the ministry said.
It said that the Medicines Authority had recommended that the vaccination programme using the AstraZeneca vaccine continue as planned.
“The European Medicines Authority has said that there is no indication that the vaccine was the cause of the complications that were reported in Austria,” the Health Ministry said, adding that blood clots were in any case not listed as a side-effect of the vaccine.
The European Medicines Authority has said it would be investigating the claims but noted that as of March 9, only 22 cases of blood clots had been reported among more than three million people the vaccine has so far been administered to.
“While health authorities are monitoring the situation closely, they stress that there is no cause for alarm by patients who have already received this vaccine,” concluded the statement.