Global health and medicines watchdogs, including the World Health Organization (WHO), Public Health England and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), have said there is no evidence of a link between the vaccine and the blood clots. Many experts have pointed out the fact that the number of incidents involving blood clots in people already vaccinated with the shot — fewer than 40 in 17 million — is lower than it would be expected in 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 assurances from health bodies, as well as AstraZeneca itself, have done little to dispel the worries. France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and around a dozen other countries have now halted AstraZeneca vaccinations, although they all stressed this was a precautionary step.
The French Health Minister Olivier Véran tried to reassure people who have received the shot in the past, stressing they “are not in danger.”
The wave of suspensions across Europe has now triggered new reviews by the WHO and the EMA. WHO’s vaccine safety experts are meeting today to address the issue and the EMA said its safety committee will also review the data today. It has also called an extraordinary meeting on Thursday.
But even if the watchdogs fully endorse the vaccine once again, the damage might have been done.
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED.
Q: Is it possible to get coronavirus from the Covid-19 vaccine?
It’s impossible to get Covid-19 from any of the approved Covid-19 vaccines because none of them contains even a single piece of actual coronavirus.
WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY
A concerning variant is ‘about to become dominant in the US’
At least a dozen US states have eased Covid-19 restrictions this month, often citing improving trends and growing vaccination numbers. But experts are worried some Americans are letting up too early — at a critical time when cases of a more dangerous new variant of the virus are spiking.
Brazil’s Covid-19 resurgence is pushing hospitals to overflowing
When Dineia Martins Firmino entered the hospital in São Paulo at the beginning of March, doctors intubated the 74-year-old, and told her family that she desperately needed to be moved to an ICU. She never made it. “No vacancy appeared at the time she needed it and she ended up dying on Saturday,” her granddaughter Pamela Rivitti said. “We did the funeral on Sunday.”
Covid-19 vaccine ads expected soon as part of $250 million Biden administration campaign
In the next few weeks, the Biden administration will launch a national vaccine promotional campaign aimed at encouraging hesitant Americans to get immunized, a marketing executive close to the project told CNN.
ON OUR RADAR
- Coronavirus lockdowns led to air quality improvements in 84% of countries worldwide. But a new report has warned the level of pollutants will likely rise as governments lift restrictions and economies swing back into gear.
- White House staffers are no longer tested for Covid-19 daily as those on campus have been increasingly vaccinated.
- The American Red Cross has found Covid-19 antibodies in about one in five blood donations from unvaccinated people.
- Covid-19 cases have plunged 83% among US nursing home staff.
- The theater community reunited for a pop-up show in Times Square exactly one year after Broadway went dark due to the pandemic.
Pent-up frustration from being stuck at home for a year and summer on the horizon haves left many of us itching to go on vacation as soon as it’s safe, but that means navigating a labyrinth of regulations on who’s allowed to go where, quarantines on arrival, vaccine requirements and health risks.
“The interest in translating science into a survival was what we shared and why at some point we decided to do this journey together.” — Dr. Ozlem Tureci