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OTTAWA:Canada on Thursday said the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is safe after Denmark and Norway temporarily suspended its use amid reports that blood clots had formed in some who had received the shot.

“Health Canada is aware of reports of adverse events in Europe following immunization with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, and would like to reassure Canadians that the benefits of the vaccine continue to outweigh its risks,” the health department said in a statement.

“At this time, there is no indication that the vaccine caused these events,” it said.

Canada received 500,000 AstraZeneca doses made at the Serum Institute of India last week, and expects to get 1.5 million more in by May.

“To date, no adverse events related to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine... have been reported to Health Canada or the Public Health Agency of Canada,” the statement said.

The federal government has ordered a total of 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and is due to receive 1.9 million through COVAX - the international initiative set up to provide equitable access to vaccines.

Although Canada has ordered more COVID-19 vaccine doses per capita any other country, its initial roll-out has been slow in part because of temporary disruptions of deliveries from Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc.