EU vaccine row 'could impact a third covid wave' says expert
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Wolfgang Münchau said if the vaccine had carried a high risk of blood clots, such dangerous side-effects “would have surfaced by now” in the UK. The country has so far injected the jab into the arms of more than 20 million people in Britain.
Mr Münchau, the head of Oxford-based think tank Euro Intelligence, said the ban on the jab was fuelled by a “politically motivated blame game” as EU leaders desperately try to deflect attention away from their massive failings on inoculation of populations.
Writing in The Spectator, he said: “It was never really about blood clots. The ban was politically motivated.
“EU leaders keep discrediting AstraZeneca to deflect attention from their own mistakes and to puncture the notion of a Brexit-related British success story.”
He added: “EU leaders keep discrediting AstraZeneca to deflect attention from their own mistakes and to puncture the notion of a Brexit-related British success story.”
Last week, days after multiple countries banned the jab, many nations backtracked on their move after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said it was “safe and effective”.
As Europe grapples with a huge shortage of vaccines, the ban raised fears it could scare off people from taking the jab made by the Anglo-Swiss drug giant when they get called to come forward.
On Monday Poland announced an increase of people who said they were willing to accept a dose of the vaccine.
This followed reports suggesting as many as 70 percent of people in some parts of the country were sceptical.
Poland did not suspend its use at any stage, arguing that the benefits outweighed potential risks.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said: “In the morning I got a report… showing that there are more and more people willing to get vaccinated and also to get vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“This shows that we made the right decision not to suspend vaccinations with AstraZeneca.
“There are definitely more people willing to be vaccinated with this vaccine.”
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His top aide, Michal Dworczyk, who heads Poland’s vaccination programme, said that on Saturday the number of people not showing up to get their shot had reached 70 percent at some vaccination points.
But he said the numbers registering this week had significantly picked up from a week ago.
Mr Dworczyk told reporters: “The registration level is much better than the registration which started on March 18.
“I hope this confidence in the AstraZeneca vaccine comes back.”
And in a show of trust, Lithuania’s president, prime minister and speaker of parliament were given the AstraZeneca vaccine on Monday.
Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte told reporters the leadership wanted to show they have no qualms about being injected with the jab.
Lithuania overturned its ban on the AstraZeneca vaccine last week after the EMA gave it the green light.
Ms Simonyte said: “The doubts were slowing down the vaccination.
“I am really sorry it is like this, that this vaccine for some reason lacks trust.”
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