The European AstraZeneca’s vaccine response is cautious and messy at the same time


The situation became so fraught that the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen He said Wednesday Brussels was considering whether to halt vaccine exports to make sure “Europe gets its fair share” – an announcement that sparked angry reactions from non-EU countries expecting doses.

The supply problem was exacerbated this week by decisions by a number of European governments to ban the use of the AstraZeneca Coronavirus vaccine due to safety concerns – not only disrupting vaccine supplies but potentially causing long-term public concerns about the drug, even if it later proves to be safe, as many expect. The experts.

Germany, Italy, Spain, Ireland and France are among the countries that have suspended the use of the vaccine, which was developed with great fanfare by researchers at the University of Oxford and forms a large part of the vaccine supply across the continent. Their concern was related to a number of blood clotting incidents, some of which were fatal, among those who had received the prick.

The prevailing opinion among scientists is that these incidents are likely not related to pollination – this correlation does not imply causation.

“Vaccines protect against one thing: infection or infection as well as disease,” Susan Ellenberg, a biostatistician at the University of Pennsylvania, told Stat News. this week. “They are not protecting you from anything else that might happen to you.”

The European Medicines Agency (EMA), the largest drug regulator in Europe, is expected to announce the preliminary results of its safety review on Thursday, and we hope it will provide some much-needed clarity. But the losses were already high for Europe in both cases Expired dosesHigh cases and poor morale.

Like the Washington Post Michael Birnbaum, Chico Harlan and Stefano Petrelli reportSome parts of Europe are now in the third wave of infections. “With every day that vaccination is delayed, there are hospitalizations and deaths,” said Fabrizio Brigliasco, a virologist at the University of Milan in Italy – a country that closes its doors again due to the high number of cases.

The biggest problem in Europe is not recklessness, but caution. The continent was hit hard and the beginning of the epidemic. Its success in the year has varied since then across Europe, with nearly all countries – even those that followed the most recommended measures – suffering exorbitant fees.

And this is where European leaders, including those praised for their reasons and technocratic leanings, such as German Angela Merkel, have lagged behind the stricter political decision-making in countries such as Britain, Israel and the United States, as well as More lean governments like Chile.

Those states adopted strong arm tactics to ensure a variety of dosages, and quickly searched for independent deals with manufacturers. Meanwhile, most European countries have adhered to the EU’s more measured approach and final deals at a later date. A sticking point, according to Accounts from insiders, The price was.

Another wrinkle appeared later, when it was Europe See The vaccine, produced by Pfizer and developed by the German company BioNTech, is being widely released in the United States, Britain and Israel, before the EMA approves the drug.

The EMA is now approved Four different vaccines. But there were major concerns among national regulators about AstraZeneca, which was initially restricted in Germany and elsewhere for use on those over the age of 65 due to data limitations for that age group. This was a step Reverse After studying the results from England, where the vaccine is in widespread use.

The new concern about blood clots reflects the chaotic and very cautious nature of many European authorities, which have stopped vaccinations even though both the European Medicines Agency and the World Health Organization have stated that they should continue during the investigation. And the motivation may not be just public health.

“It was a political choice,” said Nicola Magrini, director of the Italian Medicines Agency. In an interview with La Repubblica newspaper Monday. Leaders saw other countries pausing the drug and made it The decision to do that, tooInstead of listening to global public health agencies.

In some ways, the situation is a product of the European Union’s strengths and weaknesses It is a bloc of 27 members, with a larger and more diverse population than the United States, as well as a larger economy. When they move in unison, they can be powerful, but their decision-making process is often impractical and unpredictable.

The European Union, for example, was very large Able to buy cheaper vaccine doses From the United States by its weight – a big fiscal move, given the required supply. But consensus-based decision-making has slowed the delivery of those doses, which could nullify any economic benefits.

The paradox stands against the conglomerate’s offering in Britain, which was technically part of the bloc until last year. London chose to withdraw from purchasing the vaccine in Europe and instead went ahead on its own. This appears to be a bright spot for Prime Minister Boris Johnson amid Britain’s disastrous pandemic performance.

Only a handful of European Union countries have broken the bloc ideology on vaccines. Hungary He was vaccinated Some of its citizens have Russian and Chinese Sputnik V vaccines, citing the need for a wider range than what the EMA agreed. Other countries Moving to do likewiseSlowly, albeit.

But the panicked reactions to blood clot concerns, despite recommendations from the EMA to continue dosing AstraZeneca, are a reminder that the European Union is not a technocratic giant. It is made up of individual nation states that will act in their own way when the need is felt.

For now, this may be a uniquely European problem. Outside Europe, many countries still eagerly seek to manage AstraZeneca’s blow.

“There are people who have concerns,” said Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan Usha on Tuesday after receiving the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. But we must believe the doctors, and believe in our medical professionals.

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