COPENHAGEN, May 12 (Xinhua) -- The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines will cease to be part of Norway's mass vaccination program, Prime Minister Erna Solberg told a press conference on Wednesday evening.
The controversial vaccine had been under suspension in Norway since March 11 after reports of blood clots in vaccinated people.
However, the government has decided that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, despite producing side effects similar to those of AstraZeneca, will be made available.
The government's decision only partially follows the advice of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) and a committee of experts set up by the government, which on Monday recommended both vaccines should be totally removed from the vaccination program.
The Norwegian government also plans to create a scheme to donate unused doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to other countries, the prime minister revealed during the press conference.
Currently, 1,505,957 Norwegians, or about 28.2 percent of the population, have already received at least the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the latest NIPH data.
The Norwegian government's decision came after Denmark became the first country to remove both AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines from its COVID-19 vaccination program on April 15.