AstraZeneca vaccine: European Union throwing 'caution to the wind' expert tells BBC Breakfast

Source BBC

On Tuesday night, French prime minister Jean Castex suggested attitudes towards the AstraZeneca jab in the country were shifting after telling broadcasters he would accept a dose of the vaccine "as soon as the suspension is lifted".

In a statement, the global body notes that some countries in the European Union have temporarily suspended use of the vaccine, as a precautionary measure based on reports of rare blood coagulation disorders in people who'd received the vaccine.

AstraZeneca said that, after a careful review of its COVID-19 immunization data, it found no evidence of any increased risk of blood clots in any age group or gender in any country.

"So, anybody who is offered vaccine should take whatever is being offered by the program and ensure that the vaccines that are being produced, are used to their maximum benefit", she said.

The announcement comes after a number of countries stopped using the vaccine due to reports that it causes blood clots.

Dr. Anneliswilder Smith explained earlier during a press conference for the World Health Organization committee that during clinical trials of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine against the Corona virus, ten patients from the group who received a placebo vaccine developed a blood clot, compared to 14 in a group who received the vaccine.

"We are anxious that there may be an effect on the trust of the vaccines", Executive Director Emer Cooke said.

The German government defended its decision to suspend use of the vaccine, saying it was based on expert advice. In total, 45 million COVID shots have been delivered across the region.

Government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer told reporters in Berlin on Wednesday that she understood some might be anxious by the move, but it should be seen as a sign that "trust in our control mechanisms is justified".

The government must make data and analysis on AEFI public, and communicate clearly and regularly on this to allay vaccine fears and doubts. "If we pause the vaccine rollout every time there's a possible signal, it won't be much of a rollout".

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