European Countries Suspend Use of AstraZeneca Vaccine

Number of cases surge in the pacific island nation of Papua New Guinea.

Update 3/16/21: Over worries about the safety of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, more countries in Europe have now joined the growing list suspending its use. Italy, Spain, Germany and France have now paused administering the shot as part of their inoculation programs.

The original article was published on 3/15/21

6 countries In the European Union have now suspended the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The countries include Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Bulgaria, Ireland and the Netherlands. Despite EU medicine regulators urging them to think twice about the decision, the countries decided to follow through due to concerns that the vaccine was causing a rare combination of blood clots and lowered levels of blood platelets.

In Hong Kong, due to a good rollout of their inoculation program, officials have announced an expansion of the priority groups allowed for vaccination. Individuals aged 30 to 59, domestic workers and students aged 16 and older who are studying abroad will now be able to get a shot. The city now expects to cover around 5.5 million of its nearly 7 million population.

Lastly, due to fears of a third wave of COVID-19 hitting Europe, many governments are beginning to reinstate measures that were used earlier on in the pandemic to try and halt the spread. On Monday, much of Italy went into lockdown that is expected to last through the Easter weekend. Likewise, France has also begun to add more restrictions like curfews after a surge in cases was seen within the Paris region.

United States
107.6 million
32.01 per 100
52.52 million
3.65 per 100
29.91 million
2.17 per 100
United Kingdom
25.78 million
37.98 per 100
11.42 million
5.37 per 100
10.99 million
13.03 per 100
9.37 million
108.31 per 100
8.86 million
10.58 per 100
7.7 million
5.28 per 100
7.29 million
10.75 per 100

Data Table per Our World in Data (March 15, 2021, 12 AM EST)

As travel begins to reach peak numbers amid the pandemic within the US, more airports have begun to open COVID-19 testing areas. Two testing locations opened up before security at Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport on Monday morning, making them the tenth and eleventh in the country, respectively.

30.27 per 100
28.68 per 100
32.70 per 100
New York
32.55 per 100
31.12 per 100
32.73 per 100
31.92 per 100
North Carolina
32.55 per 100
32.19 per 100
New Jersey
34.51 per 100

Data Table per CDC COVID-19 Tracker (March 14, 2021, 6 AM EST)

For more information on COVID-19 vaccination research, distribution, and assessment, check out some of these recent Contagion stories:

Pfizer and BioNTech Report 97% COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy in Israel Population

Single Dose of mRNA Vaccine May be Enough for COVID-19 Experienced People

Why COVID-19 Booster Vaccines May Be Warranted This Year

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