Health Editor’s Note: If I had to pick one of the two reasons for suspension of the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, I would choose political since medically and scientifically there is no proof that this vaccine causes more blood clots than would normally occur across a population of people. It is a shame that politics can drive the responses to a global pandemic, but wait……..the U.S. has already been to that ‘party’….Carol
by Jason Horowitz and Benjamin Mueller/NYTimes.com
ROME — After days of touting the safety of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, Italy’s health minister, Roberto Speranza, took a call from his German counterpart on Monday and learned that Germany was concerned enough about a few cases of serious blood clots among some who had received the vaccine to suspend its use.
For Italy and its neighbors, that call could not have come at a worse time.
Their vaccine rollouts were already lagging because of shortages, and they were encouraging people to get those shots that were available. Only days earlier, Prime Minister Mario Draghi reassured Italians who had become wary of the AstraZeneca vaccine. “There is no clear evidence, clear correlation, that these events are linked to the administration of the vaccine,” he said.
But once Germany hit pause, the pressure mounted on other governments to do the same, lest public opinion punish them if they seemed incautious by comparison, and for the sake of a united European front.