There have been a lot of changes around the world since the successful development of the Covid-19 vaccine. Changes include various states in the U.S is easing restrictions, and businesses everywhere are getting back on their feet. However, recently, an incident that involved the vaccine to cause blood clots has put the vaccination process of many European countries on hold. Let’s shed some light on this coronavirus news update.
In This Article:
Coronavirus News: Is This a Setback or an Obstacle of Learning?
Mid-March, several European countries, including Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, agreed to temporarily halt the use of the Covid-19 vaccine from Oxford-AstraZeneca due to their concern that the vaccine may increase the risk of blood clots.
This has been the main focus of discussion for many countries as it’s not only the impact on Oxford-AstraZeneca but also the future of the Covid-19 vaccine.
What Do People Have to Say?
Experts, however, claim no causal link has been formed so far, and they warn that suspensions can do more harm than good. After this piece of coronavirus news, several European countries considered halting the rollout of vaccines.
The following week the World Health Organization said that “there is no evidence that the incidents are caused by the vaccine” and suggested that the distribution of vaccines should continue while this matter is being investigated.
Several experts agreed that the suspensions could lead to further outbreaks, particularly because they come at a crucial period in the pandemic for Europe without a better level of proof.
A senior researcher in global health at the University of Southampton in the UK, Michael Head, said: “There’s still a lot of Covid around Europe, so given that this is a public health emergency, you would need to see a pretty strong signal in the data to suspend a vaccine program.” “If we have this scare and there’s nothing there, will there be more cases and deaths from Covid-19 because of delays in the vaccine rollout?
What Does It Mean?
Blood clots are dangerous as they can obstruct blood vessels and lead to breathing issues, strokes, and heart attacks. They can also cause damage to organs such as the brain and the heart, and depending on the location and size; they can be fatal.
Based on reports of blood clots in connection with the vaccines in Germany and other parts of Europe, they decided to pause distribution. So far, about 1.6 million people in Germany have received the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Paul Ehrlich Institute, the country’s vaccine regulator, recommended further study of seven cases of blood clots in the brain or thrombosis detected in people who were vaccinated.
After one person developed multiple clots and died 10 days after receiving at least one dose of the vaccine, Denmark became the first country to stop the AstraZeneca campaign’s rollout last week.
Since then, several different countries have started their own suspension, including Iceland, Norway, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, and the Netherlands.
Cerebral vein thrombosis, a rare stroke caused by blood clots in the brain, was one severe type of clotting event mentioned by Germany’s health ministry. According to John Hopkins University, every year, five people out of every million are affected by cerebral vein thrombosis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 100,000 people in the U.S die from blood clots, including pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis, every year.
In a statement, AstraZeneca said there is no indication in the company’s safety data that the vaccine is associated with an increased risk of blood clots. It said that out of more than 17 million individuals vaccinated in the European Union and the United Kingdom, 37 cases of blood clots had been confirmed. According to AstraZeneca, 15 of the confirmed cases were deep vein thrombosis and 22 were pulmonary embolisms.
They have also said, “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”.
For example, in the United Kingdom, approximately 11 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered out of a total of 20 million vaccine recipients. With so many doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine already administered, Stephen Evans, a professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, believes that scientists should be able to detect signs of rare side effects if they arise.
Though this incident has caused much commotion over the last few weeks, the need to improve people’s immunity and prevent COVID-19 from spreading is critical. Evans thinks that this will negatively affect confidence in the AstraZeneca vaccine, whether it’s warranted or not, and damage confidence in other COVID-19 vaccines.
This is a worrying issue that can lead to various complications and discussions on the distribution of the vaccine. What are your thoughts on this matter? Please share with us your COVID-19 experience and opinion in the comment section below.