AstraZeneca Defends Vaccine After Reassuring Trials

Stacy Adams

The AstraZeneca laboratory defended its vaccine on Monday, rejected by a large part of Europeans, saying it was 80% effective against COVID-19 in the elderly and did not increase the risk of clots, after clinical trials conducted in the USA.

The use of this vaccine is crucial as the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates, especially in Europe, where Germany is considering new restrictions.

The vaccine is 79% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in the general population and 100% effective in preventing severe forms of the disease and hospitalization, the laboratory said Monday after phase III clinical trials in the states. United, with 32,449 participants.

It is 80% effective in the elderly and does not increase the risk of blood clots, according to the laboratory, while several countries have given up on prescribing it to the elderly due to a lack of data on the elderly during the previous tests.

This month several countries suspended its use for fear that it could cause blood clots, sometimes fatal.

This vaccine is perceived as more dangerous than safe in Germany, France, Spain and Italy, according to an opinion study carried out between March 12 and 18.

On Thursday, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) nevertheless deemed it “safe and effective” and the use of the vaccine resumed in several countries, but the impact on public opinion was felt, underlines the ‘YouGov institute.

“Not only have we seen a dramatic increase in the number of people who consider it unsafe over the past two weeks in Europe, but the AstraZeneca vaccine continues to be viewed as significantly less safe than those from Pfizer and Moderna,” YouGov commented. , in a press release.

With the vaccination campaigns, Europeans could achieve collective immunity in July, suggested Sunday the European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton.

“It’s the home stretch because we know that to overcome this pandemic, there is only one solution: to get vaccinated. The vaccines are coming, they will be there, ”insisted the French commissioner.

It is also necessary to have sufficient stocks, while the British and Europeans accuse each other of capturing the doses produced on their territory.

 

“Counter productive”
British Defense Minister Ben Wallace warned on Sunday that it would be “counterproductive” to block AstraZeneca’s exports, as the European Commission threatened the day before if the EU did not receive its deliveries first.

“The Commission has its own contract with AstraZeneca. We are just trying to enforce it. The laboratory delivered less than 10% of the doses provided for the year by the contract. It is therefore normal that we ask that these doses be delivered as planned to Europeans ”, retorted Sunday evening a source in the entourage of the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

Ms van der Leyen recalled that the EU contract with AstraZeneca provided for the delivery of doses produced both on EU territory and in the UK. “However, we have not received anything from the British, although we are providing them.”

The AstraZeneca vaccine is produced in particular in two factories in Belgium and the Netherlands, two countries which have called for caution on a hardening of exports while other European countries, such as France, support it.

But time is running out, especially in Germany. The government is preparing on Monday to extend or even tighten the restrictions in the face of an ever more virulent third wave, at the risk of fueling the already growing discontent of public opinion.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and the German regions meet in the afternoon for a new meeting on the anti-pandemic strategy.

But while it was to be devoted a few weeks ago to releasing the pressure, the agenda has completely changed in the face of the spread of the British variant of the virus, considered to be more infectious and dangerous. The partial confinement already in place in Germany since the end of 2020, and scheduled until March 28, could be extended at least until April 18, according to a government plan.

Cold shower
A cold shower for German opinion, worn as elsewhere by a year of pandemic.

The health restrictions fuel the anger of some who assimilate them to a form of “dictatorship”. By the thousands, they made it known on Saturday during demonstrations in Austria, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Switzerland or Germany.

“Stop the Corona terror” or “COVID is a hoax”, could we read on certain signs brandished by the demonstrators, from Montreal to Belgrade.

Lassitude also pushes part of the population to neglect barrier and social distancing gestures. Some 6,500 people without masks gathered to celebrate the

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