European countries rushing to ban the AstraZeneca vaccine over reports of blood clots could cost ‘thousands’ of lives, experts have said. Peter Openshaw, a professor at Imperial College London, said the stoppage in EU counties was likely to ‘translate into many. many lives lost due to COVID’.
‘Because of this delay, and because of the uncertainty now of the vaccine in some people’s minds, I think it will probably run to thousands of lives that have been lost,’ he told Time Radio.
Meanwhile, the European Medicines Agency ruled that the AstraZeneca jab is safe and effective with no increased blood clot risk. The ruling has resulted in a series of countries making embarrassing U-turns including Germany, France and Italy.
Italy was forced to scrap 200,000 doses because of the delay, and a survey published found that 49% of Italians had their confidence in vaccines shaken by the ban.
Last night, France announced new lockdown measures for Paris while the Czech Republic has extended its own shutdown until Easter as the EU’s vaccine drive continues to falter.