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News Article

Austria Halts AstraZeneca Vaccine; Mexico Moves Forward

By Jorge Ramos Zwanziger | Tue, 03/09/2021 - 11:31

The use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine has been suspended in Austria after the Federal Office for Safety in Health Care (BASG) received reports of a woman dying and a second suffering an embolism days after being vaccinated. Both cases involved the same batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine but BASG has not linked the deaths to the vaccine.

A 49-year-old woman died as a result of severe coagulation disorders and a 35-year-old woman developed a pulmonary embolism, the acute blockage of a lung artery caused often by a blood clot, reports The Chronicle Herald. The second woman is recovering. "Currently there is no evidence of a causal relationship with the vaccine," BASG announced. "As a precautionary measure, the remaining stock of the affected vaccine batch is no longer being used," it continued, according to The Chronicle Herald.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine has been deemed safe by WHO following its revision by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). WHO states that the vaccine meets its criteria for Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) consideration. Mexico is set to receive 5.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine between March and May, reports the UN News.

In Mexico, the Ministry of Health has registered 10,640 alleged cases of adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines, from which 62 cases have been registered as severe and 18 people have been hospitalized, according to Milenio. "The vast majority are mild cases and those do not require much evaluation. In severe cases, it must be determined if there is a connection or not. If there is, the adverse effects are classified as attributed to vaccination," assured Ruy López Ridaura, General Director of the National Center for Preventive Programs and Disease Control (CENAPRECE), to Milenio. Out of the 62 serious cases reported, 49 involved women and the remaining 13 involved men. Of those cases, 52 correspond to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is the one that has been applied the most among the Mexican population, while 10 severe cases correspond to the AstraZeneca vaccine, reports Milenio.

So far, the federal government has reported the administration of 2.79 million doses of the Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines to doctors, nurses, hospital staff, and adults over 60 years of age throughout the country reports El Economista. To date, 4.69 million doses have arrived in Mexico. Last week, the country received Pfizer’s largest vaccine batch of 850,000 doses that arrived in Mexico City, reported El País. Yesterday, 20,320 doses were administered throughout the country.

Pharmaceutical delays have had a political cost for the Mexican government, with authorities now betting on the local packaging of the CanSino and AstraZeneca vaccines to reduce dependence on foreign countries, reported El País.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
WHO, UN News, El Economista, El País, The Chronicle Herald, Milenio
Jorge Ramos Zwanziger Jorge Ramos Zwanziger Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst