‘Populist wave coming’ Farage warns ‘idiots’ in EU put dislike of UK above citizens health

AstraZeneca: Expert discusses 'risk' with jab suspensions

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And the former Brexit Party leader, who stepped down from frontline politics earlier this month, suggested voters across the continent would punish eurocrats, claiming a “populist wave” was heading for Brussels. Sweden and Latvia became the latest countries to call a halt to jabs, with countries including Germany, France and Italy already having done so.

Countries have been prompted to act after the emergence of isolated cases of bleeding, blood clots and low platelet counts in some of those who have been vaccinated.

However, Mr Farage suggested there was an ulterior motive at work.

He tweeted: “These idiots in Europe are putting their dislike of the UK above the health of their people by suspending the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“Voters will not like it, the populist wave is coming.”

John Carins replied: “EU voters can’t even hold them to account. The EU’s flaws exposed.”

Another Twitter user added: “Could some of it be Europe see the UK as a competitor now instead of a partner & friend.

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“It’s almost like all this is self-inflicted Nigel & all for no gain what so ever.

Neither is Mr Farage the only prominent voice of criticism.

Wolfgang Munchau, the founder of the Eurointelligence website, tweeted: “Decision to ban AstraZeneca constitutes an act of political panic that will be hard to undo.

“Will lead to thousands of more deaths, longer lockdown, lower economic growth, and give people a rational reason to oppose European integration.”

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Even arch-europhile and Brexit critic Guy Verhofstadt weighed in.

Referring to a statement issued by the European Medicines Agency yesterday which said the AstraZeneca jab was still safe to use, the former Belgian Prime Minister tweeted: If government leaders don’t trust the science, trust in vaccination is gone.

“If we don’t rely on @EMA_News, ANY common EU approach is doomed.

“Governments, don’t politicise and prevaricate, vaccinate!”

Meanwhile, Nicola Magrini, the director-general of Italy’s medicines authority AIFA, told La Repubblica the choice to suspend the vaccines was “political”.

He insisted the AstraZeneca vaccine safe and said its benefit to risk ratio was “widely positive”.

A World Health Organization (WHO) committee of experts is reviewing the situation in close dialogue with the EMA.

Both had earlier joined AstraZeneca in saying there is no proven link, but some experts were concerned by rare cases of highly unusual cerebral thrombosis in younger people.

Karl Lauterbach, the health spokesman for Germany’s Social Democratic Party, said: “Unfortunately, the brain thrombosis is likely due to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“And it affects younger people without risk factors.

“But because the risk is only about 1 in 250,000, the benefits predominate,” he added in a tweet.

European epidemiologists remained baffled that similar cases had not occurred in unusual numbers in Britain, which began using AstraZeneca earlier and has administered more than 10 million doses.

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