March 15, 2021

Despite the best efforts of Brussels and AstraZeneca to convince Europeans that there is no heightened risk of deadly blood clots associate with the COVID vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford, more countries have banned the jabs, adding another massive obstacle to Europe’s already faltering vaccination effort.

Even as regulators from Europe to Asia insist that they have found no fault with the AZ jabs, the Netherlands has announced plans to join a growing list of about a dozen places, including northern Italy, Ireland and Thailand, moving to suspend the shot over concerns about possible side effects from two batches.

About a dozen countries have banned the jabs, although Thailand allowed AZ jabs to proceed on Monday, four days after halting them. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha and some of his cabinet members will be receiving it on Tuesday after a medical panel said there was no sign the vaccine contributed to blood clots.

AstraZeneca said a “careful” review of all available data of the more than 17MM people in the EU and the UK that have received the AZ jab showed no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis or thrombocytopenia. Yet, more reports of deadly blood clots in post-vaccine patients have emerged. Marco Cavaleri, European Medicines Agency’s chair of the vaccine evaluation team, insisted in an interview with France24 on Monday, that there is no causal link right now between AstraZeneca shots and deaths. The WHO has called the jab “excellent”, and insisted there is no reason to delay inoculations.

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