AstraZeneca vaccine: EU's stance discussed by virologist

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Germany has vaccinated more than half of its population but leading officials have now been forced to issue a plea to its citizens as the number of people coming forward for a jab slows down – leaving doses unused. The European Union has helped to fuel vaccine scepticism in the wake of a bitter dispute over the supply of AstraZeneca vaccines and has delivered mixed messages over the effectiveness of the jab throughout the pandemic.

As a result many countries across the bloc, including Germany, have delivered a stop-start rollout of the jab over fears of extremely rare blood clotting side effects, despite studies proving the huge benefits and efficacy of the jab against serious illness.

The vaccine rollout in the EU and the approach to the lifesaving AstraZeneca jab has triggered outrage from a number of readers, who let their opinions known in the comments section of an earlier story.

One reader wrote: “It takes a special sort of arrogance to put punishing Brexit Britain ahead of saving your own citizens’ lives. Despicable EU. Not a shred of decency amongst its ranks.”

A second reader said: “The whole of the EU condemned the AstraZeneca jabs.

“Put fear into the mainstream but now desperate for people to come forward for jabs.”

A third commented: “The EU were concerned with punishing Britain and defaming the vaccine than the protection of their own citizens now the chickens have come home to roost – what an own goal on their part.”

Meanwhile, a fourth said: “The politics Merkel and Macron played over AstraZeneca will come back to haunt them.”

In March, Germany stalled the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine amid fears over rare side effects.

Germany’s vaccine uptake has slowed down one again in recent weeks and as it stands 72.9 percent of adults have now received a first dose.

Meanwhile in the UK, 88.3 percent of adults have not had one dose of the jab as of July 28.

In terms of uptake of a second dose, Germany stands at 59.1 percent.

The stagnation has triggered panic amongst German officials who are desperately drawing up plans to turn the tide.

Bundestag President Wolfgang Schauble has said medics have raised the alarm at the number of jabs being unused.

He said: “I cannot understand the lack of willingness to get vaccinated, that makes me extremely sad.

“And now family doctors are desperate because vaccination doses are left over en masse. We must all avoid a new lockdown together!

“That would be devastating for society, the economy and all other areas of life.”


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This week AstraZeneca published a new study into the jab and it suggested for every one million people who received a first shot, there were 8.1 reports of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome or blood clots.

The study looked at a total of 49.23 million people who received the vaccine in the EU, the European Economic Area and the UK by the end of April.

Another recent study of more than 14,000 people by Public Health England has found both the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the AstraZeneca jab are highly effective against the dominant Delta or Indian variant of coronavirus.

The study suggested the Pfizer vaccine is 96 percent effective against hospitalisation after two doses

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was said to be 92 percent effective against hospitalisation after the second dose.
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