Lithuania on Tuesday followed more than a dozen other countries in suspending AstraZeneca vaccinations pending checks by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
Health Minister Arunas Dulkys said the vaccine will not be used as a precaution “until the European Medicines Agency provides its final conclusions over its safety”.
Dulkys said that, while he “personally trusted” the vaccine and was ready to take the AstraZeneca shot, the temporary halt was the “safest solution” to minimise risks.
Lithuania’s medicines control agency said three people have developed blood clots in the Baltic state of 2.8 million people after taking the vaccine, but said it has no indications that the vaccine has caused them.
The EU’s medicines regulator has said it is looking at any serious side effects of all coronavirus vaccines and is expected to publish its conclusions on Thursday.
But the EMA said on Tuesday it was “firmly convinced” the benefits of AstraZeneca’s jab outweigh potential risks, insisting there was no evidence linking it to blood clots.
More than a dozen countries, including the EU’s biggest members France, Germany, and Italy, have suspended the jabs.