Within a few days of rolling out, AstraZeneca vaccine has come to a standstill in almost the entire Western Europe. Italy, France, Spain and over 12 other countries have temporarily halted the use of the vaccine. This, however, goes against the advice of the international health agency. Certain countries decided to stay with the vaccine including the UK. Millions of the doses of the vaccine are already administered there. In such countries, the real-world data shows that the vaccine is effective against the coronavirus infection.
Did European Countries Make A Mistake In Halting AstraZeneca Vaccine?
This action of the European countries has shocked experts across the globe. It has even raised doubts among those planning to get vaccinated. But the international health agency continues its advice to maintain calm.
The instances of blood clotting are rare. And they will never be greater than the population that has received it. In the meantime, the shot is proven to help the body fight off coronavirus.
According to a reputed scientist, there exists no reason to pause the AstraZeneca vaccine. It truly does not make any sense. Vaccines are there to protect humanity against COVID 19 virus. The rollout of as many vaccines as possible is the need of the hour. Halting such a rollout is not a wise move, he added.
European Union approved AstraZeneca vaccine for use by the middle of January. After a few weeks, several European countries took the agency to task for not delivering the doses it promised on time. They even doubted its effectiveness among the elderly. Later, they had to change its stand. Some even blocked the shipments so that they may never leave the continent. Today, they paused its rollout for concerns of blood clotting among its recipients.
According to experts, AstraZeneca vaccine has always been something like a political ball for reasons unknown to many. And it is sad to watch all these developments from a scientific perspective.
As per the science behind the shot, it is effective and safe. The recent developments began when Denmark paused its rollout for concerns that it causes blood clotting. For one, the effect was fatal. Norway followed suit. This too happened due to the same concerns. The country even reported one death.
In reality, there is no confirmation to the reasons of death these countries suggested. At present, virtually the entire Western Europe has paused the rollout of its vaccine. From that time, experts advise citizens that the decision is just a precautionary measure. The European medicine Agency is analyzing the incidents. The agency is scheduled to have a meeting in this regard on Thursday. In the meantime, WHO is reviewing all reports. According to both the agencies, there are no evidences to believe that the blood clotting linked with the vaccine. EMA further said that AstraZeneca vaccine’s benefits outweigh its risks.
At present, there are no instances of blood clotting linked to the vaccine. And EMA will publish their advice to its nations on Thursday. Even then, the reports of blood clotting are quite few. It is one death in Norway that created the wave of suspension.
Germany, for instance, administered 1.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. It detected just seven instances of blood clotting. It is an issue called cerebral vein thrombosis. Here, blood clotting in the cerebral vein of the brain. Norway reports that three patients in their hospitals too present a rare scenario. The patients are having low blood platelet counts, bleeding and blood clotting in small and large veins. No such instances have been reported for any other vaccine, the country added. Another lab in India too has received similar reports. But the scenarios are quite different from those of Norway.
Whatever is the situation, such instances are rare. And they are not large enough to cause alarm among health professionals.