By Milo Mandelli-Valla
New York City, New York
The possibility that the AstraZeneca vaccine could be linked to blood clots resulted in mass panic among the people who got the vaccine across Europe. Many countries decided to slow down or halt the distribution of the AstraZeneca vaccine until AstraZeneca could further investigate.
According to The Washington Post, on March 30, Germany stopped giving the AstraZeneca vaccine to people under the age of 60 as a result of the potential link to blood clots. The Guardian reported that Canada is also banning the vaccine for everyone under 55 years old.
BBC finds that in Wales, the blood clots data could potentially be inaccurate and that there is no issue in Wales at all with blood clots. AstraZeneca is running tests to figure out any potential issues with the vaccine, so until then, many agree that no claims are accurate for certain.
The other controversy surrounding the AstraZeneca vaccine is its efficacy, as many believe that the data is inconclusive at the moment compared to the vaccines in the United States, for example, where the efficacies of the vaccines being distributed are relatively well known.
BBC reported that the data on the efficacy changed recently with newer data coming in from AstraZeneca for the United States, as the efficacy rate declined from 79% to 76% effective. The efficacy rate among Americans above 65 rose from 80% to 85%. AstraZeneca also reaffirmed its claim that the vaccine is 100% effective in keeping people out of the hospital if they do in fact get COVID-19.
“After the initial release of data the company received a highly unusual public rebuke from independent scientists overseeing the trial, who said the company may have given ‘outdated information’ that gave an ‘incomplete view’ of the vaccine's effectiveness,” According to BBC. “This is the latest in a string of controversies surrounding the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, over dosing, efficacy in the elderly, clots and supplies to the EU.”
There are alternative vaccines to AstraZeneca, but there are not enough doses yet to give Europe enough to replace what they could have from AstraZeneca.