Germany, France, Italy and Spain are suspending use of AstraZeneca‘s coronavirus vaccine amid concern over reports of blood clots linked to the jab, despite assurances from the drugmaker and regulators that there is no link with coagulation disorders.
Scientists and experts have reacted with concern to the decision, insisting there is no current evidence to suggest the jab is responsible for the 37 “thromboembolic events” that have so far been recorded among more than 17 million recipients of the vaccine.
AstraZeneca said the incidence of clots is much lower than would be expected to occur naturally in a general population of this size and is similar to that of other licensed Covid-19 vaccines.
The European Union’s own regulator is continuing to advocate use of the vaccine, as is the World Health Organisation, while the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) urged people to “still go and get their Covid-19 vaccine when asked to do so”.
Earlier on Monday, Boris Johnson defended the vaccine after being asked if he could tell the public that the jab was safe.