Spain’s health minister urged for calm around the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, insisting that the country has not detected any unexpected side effects from the jab.
Carolina Darias told local media that Spain is continuing to administer the vaccine that has been paused in a number of countries in Europe and Asia following reports of blood clots.
In February, Spain received around 220,000 doses of the batch that was linked to fatal blood clots in Austria. Darias said those doses were already “supplied and administered” without more than “light” side effects.
The European Medicines Agency also said there is “no indication that the vaccine caused” the reported blood clots.
Yet, several of Spain’s regional governments with doses left from the suspect batch decided to stop administering those particular jabs for now “out of precaution.”
Spain has only approved the AstraZeneca vaccine for people younger than 55 years old without serious health conditions.
In total, Spain has administered 5.3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses – nearly 900,000 of which were from AstraZeneca.
New coronavirus in Spain continued to drop on Friday after a slight uptick on Thursday. The Health Ministry reported 5,348 new infections – down more than 1,300 from the same day last week.
This comes despite the UK variant taking hold across much of Spain. The Health Ministry reported on Friday that it has become dominant in nine of the 16 Spanish regions that are sharing data on variants.
In Catalonia, the strain was found to be behind 85% of all cases this week, compared to 67% the week prior.
On Friday, another 173 people died from COVID-19 in Spain, bringing the country’s death toll to 72,258.
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