By Abdullah Asiran

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AA) – The Netherlands has suspended the use of COVID-19 vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University after reports of blood clots that developed in some people after receiving the jab.

According to the country’s Health Ministry late Sunday, the decision came following the recommendations of the Dutch medicines council CBG.

The ministry said the suspension will take two weeks, until March 28, and vaccine appointments in the country will be canceled.

AstraZeneca issued a statement Sunday reiterating the safety of its COVID-19 vaccine based on scientific evidence amid concerns over reports of people developing blood clots after receiving it.

The company said safety was of paramount importance for them and that they continually monitor the safety of the vaccine.

Last week, Denmark and Norway suspended the rollout and use of the Oxford vaccine after reports of a small number of blood clots. Austria and Italy quickly followed suit.

Amid concerns over side effects and suspension of its use in several countries, the World Health Organization on Friday said the AstraZeneca vaccine is “excellent” and the world should continue using it.

* Writing and contribution by Busra Nur Cakmak in Ankara.

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