AstraZeneca POLL: Should EU be forced to send Oxford jabs to UK after states ban use? VOTE
AstraZeneca: Expert slams ‘nonsense’ claims about vaccine
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The Anglo-Swedish Covid vaccine has been suspended in 13 EU countries, including France, Germany and Ireland, over safety fears. The EU nations site reports of blood clots as justification for halting the use of the jab, but the bloc has come under fire for using the British-made vaccine as a political move.
In Europe, a handful of cases have emerged of blood clots developing in patients after the AstraZeneca vaccine was administered.
As a result, swathes of EU nations have temporarily suspended the shot as a precautionary measure.
However, experts say these were no more than the number of blood-clot incidents typically reported within the general population.
AstraZeneca said about 17 million people in the EU and the UK have received a dose of the vaccine, with fewer than 40 cases of blood clots reported as of last week.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged countries not to pause Covid vaccinations and said it was investigating the reports.
WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said: “As soon as WHO has gained a full understanding of these events, the findings and any unlikely changes to current recommendations will be immediately communicated to the public.
“As of today, there is no evidence that the incidents are caused by the vaccine and it is important that vaccination campaigns continue so that we can save lives and stem severe disease from the virus.”
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will also meet today to carry out a review into incidents of blood clots.
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The body has also said the vaccine should continue to be used.
Professor Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford vaccine group that developed the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab, added there had been no evidence in the UK of an increase in blood clots.
He told BBC’s Today Programme there was “very reassuring evidence that there is no increase in a blood clot phenomenon here in the UK, where most of the doses in Europe [have] been given so far”.
The countries leading the charge against the AstraZeneca vaccine include EU heavyweights France and Germany.
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Other nations that have called a halt to the jab include Italy, Portugal, Slovenia and Cyprus.
The Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Bulgaria, Spain and Iceland also recently suspended the use of the vaccine.
Germany’s health ministry has said the decision to stop administering the AstraZeneca jab was “not political”.
But not everyone is convinced the move to suspend the Anglo-Swedish jab comes without political point-scoring.
A UK health source told Politico: “You can’t shake off the sense that there is some politics at play.
“The Oxford vaccine is saving lives in the UK and is set to save lives all around the world.
“As the WHO, EMA and MHRA have all said — people should continue to use it.”
Piers Morgan has called on the Prime Minister to procure all the jabs sent to the EU.
He wrote on Twitter: “There’s no evidence to support this ridiculous EU panic.
“Boris Johnson should tell AstraZeneca we’ll take all their unwanted vaccines for Britain.”
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