Coronavirus: Austria suspends use of AstraZeneca vaccine batch after death

Health officials in Austria suspended the use of a batch of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine as a precaution as they investigate the death of one person and illness in another.

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“The Federal Office for Safety in Health Care (BASG) has received two reports in a temporal connection with a vaccination from the same batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the district clinic of Zwettl” the agency said in a statement Sunday, Reuters reported. “Currently there is no evidence of a causal relationship with the vaccination.”

A 49-year-old woman died from severe coagulation disorders. A 35-year-old woman is recovering after suffering a pulmonary embolism, a lung disease. The women are both nurses who worked at the Zwettl clinic.

“As a precautionary measure, the remaining stocks of the affected vaccine batch are no longer being issued or vaccinated,” the agency said.

AstraZeneca said all batches of the vaccine are subject to rigorous quality-control measures.

“There have been no confirmed serious adverse events associated with the vaccine,” a spokesperson for the company said.

The drug was deemed safe and effective in clinical trials and has been approved for use in more than 50 countries. Negative reactions in trials did not occur frequently or long-lasting and blood clotting was not reported.

The drug maker said it is in contact with Austrian officials and supports the investigation.

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