British woman dies after having AstraZeneca vaccine in Cyprus

The 39-year-old was taken to hospital a few days after her first Covid injection

Nicosia General Hospital where the woman died. AFP
Nicosia General Hospital where the woman died. AFP

A British woman has died in a Cypriot hospital after suffering a blood clot days after she received the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, the official Cyprus News Agency reported on Monday.

The woman, 39, received her first dose of the vaccine on May 6 in the resort town of Paphos on the western coast of the Mediterranean island.

She was treated in Nicosia General Hospital's intensive care unit after suffering thrombotic symptoms a few days later.

The European Medicines Agency will investigate the death, said Charalambos Charilaou, spokesman for the Cypriot health service.

Almost 49 per cent of Cyprus' adult population has received a Covid-19 vaccine shot, and 21 per cent are fully vaccinated. AFP
Almost 49 per cent of Cyprus' adult population has received a Covid-19 vaccine shot, and 21 per cent are fully vaccinated. AFP

Cyprus health authorities have opened an investigation to see if the "serious thrombotic episode" was linked to the AstraZeneca shot.

They are also investigating four other cases of "mild" blood clotting incidents, three of which occurred after an AstraZeneca shot and one after a Pfizer-BioNTech injection.

Some countries restricted or dropped AstraZeneca shots from national vaccine campaigns because of the very rare blood clotting side effect, although the EMA says the benefits still outweigh the risks.

AstraZeneca is the backbone of the vaccination programme in Cyprus, where family doctors are also allowed to administer the vaccine to anybody aged over 20.

But many people booking online to get vaccinated have preferred other shots over the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Cyprus has the third highest vaccination rate in the European Union, having administered 57.54 doses per 100 people, according to Our World in Data.

Almost 49 per cent of Cyprus' adult population has received a Covid-19 vaccine, and 21 per cent are fully vaccinated.

The country has reported 71,911 Covid-19 infections and 354 deaths since the pandemic began in March last year.

Updated: May 24, 2021 05:00 PM

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