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Europe’s pause on the AstraZeneca vaccine is worrying

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Global health and medication surveillance dogs, including the World Health Organization (WHO), Public Health England and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), have said there is no evidence that there is any link. between the vaccine and the blood clots. Many experts have pointed out that the number of blood clot-related incidents in people already vaccinated with the shot – less than 40 in 17 million – is lower than expected in the general population.

“The benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing Covid-19, with its associated risk of hospitalization and death, outweigh the risks of side effects,” the EMA said in a statement yesterday.

But these guarantees from the health authorities, as well as from AstraZeneca itself, have done little to allay concerns. France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and about a dozen countries have now stopped vaccinations against AstraZeneca, although they all stressed that this was a preventive step.

French Health Minister Olivier Véran tried to reassure people who have been shot in the past, stressing that “they are not in danger.”

The wave of suspensions across Europe has now sparked further revisions by the WHO and the EMA. WHO vaccine safety experts are meeting today to address the issue and the EMA has said its safety committee will also review the data today. He also called an extraordinary meeting on Thursday.

But even if the watchdogs fully support the vaccine once again, it may have been harmed.

In some European countries, the shot has already been seen as a “second-class vaccine” because of its slightly lower efficacy rates compared to its competitors and because some countries initially decided do not offer the vaccine to the elderly, citing a lack of data. The ugly crackdown between the UK and the EU over the supply of the vaccine also did not help boost its reputation.
The potential effect of this episode on vaccine hesitation is as well caring globally. The AstraZeneca shot is a key piece in the global vaccination master plan, as it is cheaper and easier to distribute than some rivals.

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Variant B.1.1.7, identified for the first time in the United Kingdom, is projected become the dominant strain in the US later this month or early April, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said yesterday. It has so far been found in 48 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, according to CDC data.

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The new fierce wave of coronavirus that claimed Firmino’s life is flooding the ICU in São Paulo and throughout Brazil. As of Sunday, 21 Brazilian states and the Federal District had an ICU occupancy rate of more than 80%. Of these, 14 were on the verge of collapse with more than 90% occupancy.

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Ads are part of a $ 250 million Covid-19 educational campaign led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which will include a podcast hosted by “a known person” outside the government, the executive said.

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