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Doctors baffled as countries suspend use of AstraZeneca vaccine over blood clot fears


A healthcare employee prepares a syringe with the AstraZeneca Covid-19 dose at Coria City Hospital, Spain.

Gustavo Valiente | SOPA Images | LightRocket through Getty Images

LONDON — Health specialists say they’re disillusioned and confused by the flurry of suspensions of the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, warning there may be not but sufficient knowledge to justify these selections.

Germany, France, Italy and Spain on Monday joined a fast-growing checklist of European countries suspending the use of the vaccine as a precautionary measure following stories of blood clots.

Other countries, such as Austria, have temporarily paused the use of sure batches of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. Thailand on Friday turned the primary Asian nation to halt the use of the shot over security issues.

The U.Ok., Canada and Australia — that are persevering with to deploy the vaccine — are amongst some of the countries looking for to reassure residents about its advantages.

The World Health Organization, Europe’s drug regulator and the International Society on Thrombosis and Hemostasis have all really useful that countries proceed to use the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

There are not any indicators but of any knowledge that basically justify these selections.

Michael Head

Senior analysis fellow in Global Health on the University of Southampton

“The decisions by France, Germany and other countries look baffling,” stated Dr. Michael Head, senior analysis fellow in Global Health on the University of Southampton, U.Ok.

“The data we have suggests that numbers of adverse events related to blood clots are the same (and possibly, in fact lower) in vaccinated groups compared to unvaccinated populations,” he continued.

“Halting a vaccine roll out during a pandemic has consequences. This results in delays in protecting people, and the potential for increased vaccine hesitancy, as a result of people who have seen the headlines and understandably become concerned. There are no signs yet of any data that really justify these decisions,” Head added.

Experts at WHO will meet on Tuesday to evaluation the security of the shot.

The European Medicines Agency, which can also be evaluating the security of the drug, has stated there is no such thing as a indication that it’s inflicting blood clots, including that it believes the vaccine’s advantages “continue to outweigh its risks.”

What has AstraZeneca stated?

More than 17 million folks within the European Union and the U.Ok. have acquired a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, with fewer than 40 circumstances of blood clots reported as of final week, AstraZeneca stated in a press release.

The pharmaceutical big stated that throughout the EU and U.Ok. there had been 15 occasions of deep vein thrombosis and 22 occasions of pulmonary embolism reported amongst these vaccinated.

“This is much lower than would be expected to occur naturally in a general population of this size and is similar across other licensed COVID-19 vaccines,” AstraZeneca stated.

The EMA has additionally stated that the information accessible to this point confirmed that the quantity of blood clots in vaccinated folks isn’t any greater than that seen among the many normal inhabitants.

A bottle of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Igor Petyx | KONTROLAB | LightRocket through Getty Images

Europe’s warning concerning the drug has compounded the woes of the area’s ailing vaccination marketing campaign and comes at a time when Germany’s public well being company has warned {that a} third wave of coronavirus infections has already begun.

Dr. Stephen Griffin affiliate professor within the School of Medicine on the University of Leeds, stated the information that many countries in Europe had suspended the rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was “disappointing.”

“Since many European countries are currently experiencing another resurgence of SARS-CoV2 infections and yet are lagging behind in terms of roll out, the importance of continuing the vaccination programmes cannot be underestimated, and the harm caused by depriving people of access to a vaccine will likely vastly outweigh even the worst case scenario if any link to the clotting disorders is eventually found,” Griffin stated.

“It should also be noted that nationwide gestures such as this are bound to fuel hesitancy, or more extreme anti-vaccine sentiment, further undermining the vaccination effort,” he added.

How does the vaccine work?



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