(CMR) Austria suspended the use of a batch of AstraZeneca vaccines as a precautionary measure Sunday following the death of one nurse and the illness of another after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
A 49-year-old nurse died as a result of severe coagulation disorders, while a 35-year-old woman developed a pulmonary embolism and is recovering.
A pulmonary embolism is an acute lung disease triggered by a dislodged blood clot.
Health authorities said while there was currently “no evidence of a causal relationship with the vaccination,” the use of the remaining vaccines in that batch would be suspended pending an investigation.
AstraZeneca said there had been no confirmed adverse effects of the vaccine; however, it was cooperating with the Austrian health authority in their investigations.
Blood clotting was not among the known side effects of the vaccine.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was approved for use by European Union regulators at the end of January, while the World Health Organization (WHO) listed the product for emergency use in mid-February.
A safety assessment by Germany’s vaccine regulator of more than 360,000 people who received the Astra vaccine in the country between the launch in early February and February 26 concluded that adverse reactions were in line with those described in clinical trials.