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In this research letter, the authors highlight their work evaluating early concerns about the possible association between venous thromboembolism (VTE) and the Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The incidence rates for VTE pre-pandemic and after the introduction of the vaccine were calculated, and this preliminary work found no increase in VTE associated with vaccination.
Although these results are not definitive, this study does not indicate an increased incidence of VTE associated with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
By mid March, 2021, vaccination against COVID-19 using the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine from Oxford–AstraZeneca1, 2 was paused in a number of European countries due to reports of thromboembolic events in vaccinated individuals.3 According to the European Medicines Agency (EMA), 30 cases of thromboembolic events (predominantly venous) had been reported by March 10, 2021, among the approximately 5 million recipients of the Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in the European Economic Area.3 The EMA subsequently stated that “The number of thromboembolic events in vaccinated people is no higher than the number seen in the general population”.4 To inform the ongoing discussion on the safety of the Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, we analysed nationwide population-based data from Denmark to estimate the natural incidence of venous thromboembolism.5