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More countries suspend use of AstraZeneca shot over fears of side effects

Safety concerns over the AstraZeneca vaccine remain.

One by one, EU states are suspending the use of the jab due to its potential adverse effects.

On March 16, Sweden, one of the countries where the vaccine was produced, joined this list, Izvestia reports.

Experts say that so far, there are no grounds to assume that there is something wrong with the vaccine: similar measures are taken regarding drugs when there is the slightest concern over potential side effects not recorded in the past.

AstraZeneca informed Izvestia that the number of cases of thrombosis among those vaccinated is lower than would be expected among the general population.

However, a number of experts do not rule out disruptions of the technological processes during production and the appearance of some unknown elements in the vaccine’s composition.

So far, the World Health Organization (WHO) has remained mum on the safety of the AstraZeneca jab.

For its part, on March 18, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will hold a special session on the inoculation.

Some cases of a decreased platelet count have been recorded among young people within 14 days after getting a shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

This is why a number of European states have decided to suspend the use of the jab to investigate the potential side effects, Yury Kiselev, Associate professor at OsloMet (Oslo Metropolitan University) and an expert in pharmaceuticals, told Izvestia.

“Such a decision is not out of the ordinary, such temporary measures are taken regarding drugs even when there is the slightest suspicion of some previously unknown side effects,” he commented.

Just like all other registered vaccines put up for production, AstraZeneca has fully proven its safety, Director of Kazan Federal University’s Research Clinical Center for Precision and Regenerative Medicine Albert Rizvanov told Izvestia.

“Even if we imagine that a large number of people get a saline shot, some percentage of them might die just because they felt stressed when coming to the hospital. Or they have some chronic diseases, namely cardiovascular diseases,” the expert stated.

The researcher noted that the potential danger of COVID-19 outweighs the potential side effects of vaccination.

In light of these issues, Europe is becoming more interested in Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.

On March 15, PACE President Rik Daems said during a meeting with Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin that the EU regulator is considering the possibility of supplying Sputnik V to Europe.

On the same day that Croatian officials confirmed the arrival of the documents for the Russian vaccine, the Swedish vaccination coordinator informed that Sputnik V might arrive in the Scandinavian country in June.

Giovanni Maga, Director of the Institute of Molecular Genetics (Italy), told the newspaper that it is important to wait for the results of the investigation into AstraZeneca. Nevertheless, he noted that Europe should already begin to expand its vaccine portfolio.

Source: Izvestia via TASS