Opinions

The Controversy Surrounding the AstraZeneca Vaccine

The unprecedented events brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic led to the dire need for effective vaccines. One of the vaccines approved for use, is produced by AstraZeneca. Following a couple of weeks of usage, there have been reports of associated blood clots. Naturally, this has raised alarm amongst several countries around the world, with many people concerned.

In view of these reports, several countries within the European Union, including Germany and Italy had suspended the inoculations related to this vaccine. What is worth noting is that Malta opted for a different approach, keeping consistent with its plan without suspending, at least temporarily, this vaccine.

In view of the increased suspensions, the matter was investigated by the European Medicines Agency. Following a review, it was stated by the EMA, that the vaccine being produced by AstraZeneca is not linked to an overall risk of blood clots. With that being said, the Agency is still investigating a rare clotting disorder. This announcement comes following more than a dozen European countries halting inoculations, where the EMA suggested that the benefits outweigh the risks.

The safety committee of the agency said that although the vaccine is considered to be safe and effective, it cannot rule out a potential link with a small number of cases of a rare clotting disorder, which may occur after vaccination. The same Agency also recommended that governments raise awareness in relation to the possible effects. It is recommended that governments disclose the potential side effects under the product information. This would help to spot and mitigate any possible and rare side effects.

Source: Coronavirus digest: AstraZeneca vaccine has limited protection for South African variant

The AstraZeneca jab is normally split into two doses, whereby the second is administered round ten weeks after the first. The vaccine is deemed to be in the region of seventy percent effective and was developed by the University of Oxford. Most people within the UK are being vaccinated with this very same vaccine and it seems that no issues have been identified in relation to blood clots. 

When it comes to the Maltese context, the AstraZeneca vaccine is being used to immunise the population, together with the Pfizer and Moderna jabs. The AstraZeneca vaccine is being used to immunise segments such as teachers. Many have also reported side effects such as fever, tiredness and pain in the arm where the injection was administered. 

What do you think about the AstraZeneca vaccine? Would you take it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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