Malaysia will decide whether it will use AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine as planned, while South Korea and the Philippines will temporarily suspend administering the vaccine to patients below 60, The Straits Times reported on Thursday.
British and European vaccine regulators on Wednesday said they had found possible links between AstraZeneca's vaccine and reports of very rare cases of brain blood clots among some adult vaccine patients, in a setback for immunization campaigns.
Malaysia's Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the government's special panel on vaccine distribution will take the European Medicines Agency's findings into consideration.
"Safety is paramount," Jamaluddin said in a tweet.
Malaysia has secured a total of 12.8 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, half of which will be given via the global COVAX program.
South Korea has reported three cases of blood clots in patients who were given the vaccine.
Over a dozen countries have halted the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been administered to tens of millions of people in Europe, following reports linking it to blood clotting.
Britain's Joint Committee on Vaccination said people under 30 who don't have any existing health conditions should be treated with a different vaccine if possible.
In its statement, the EMA said it was "reminding healthcare professionals and people getting the vaccine to remain aware of the possibility of very rare cases of blood clots combined with low levels of blood platelets happening within two weeks of vaccination," Reuters reported.
Apart from AstraZeneca's vaccine, Malaysia has secured a total of 67 million vaccine doses from China's Sinovac Biotech and CanSino Biologics, U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer-BioNTech, and Russia's Gamaleya Institute.
Despite the blood clot risk, the investigation has confirmed that "the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing COVID-19 overall outweigh the risks of side effects," Live Science quoted Emer Cooke, EMA executive director, as saying.