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Here’s what happens to the AstraZeneca vaccine in Europe and the United States

The use of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine was discontinued today in much of Europe, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Why it matters: The suspensions followed reports that blood clots developed in a small number of patients who received the vaccine. But public health officials, including the World Health Organization and the EU’s own medical division, say there’s no evidence that the blood clots were caused by the vaccine or that the risk of firing the shot outweighs the risk of delaying your time at Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.AstraZeneca says that of the 17 million people who received the vaccine in the EU and the UK, the number of such symptoms is actually fewer than expected in the general population, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Meet on Tuesday to discuss the situation. State of play: The vaccine has been approved by the WHO and around 70 countries. Real-world data from the UK, where the vaccine has been most widely used, suggests it is highly effective in preventing serious cases. No clotting concerns were reported there. The news: Denmark and Norway were the first to suspend the shot last Thursday, and the EU’s most populous countries followed suit today. The heads of state and government described the suspensions as a precautionary measure. French President Emmanuel Macron said the distribution would do some experts fear that given the ongoing vaccine shortage and rapidly spreading variants, at a dangerous time, such measures could increase the vaccine’s hesitation and further slow its spread. Indonesia cited today’s situation in Europe to delay rollout while Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assured Canadians that the vaccine was safe and UK leaders defended the indigenous sting. The big picture: This is arguably the most important vaccine in the world in the near future. Around 3 billion cans have been reserved to date, and more than half are for developing countries. The vaccine is relatively affordable (it doesn’t sell for a profit) and is easy to transport and store compared to the Pfizer and Moderna shots. The COVAX initiative sends AstraZeneca cans around the world, often to countries where there is no other source of vaccine. Yes, but: the introduction of the vaccine in Europe has been plagued by confusion, suspicion and even hostility. AstraZeneca only dumped half the doses it promised the EU, causing trouble and, in one case, an export ban. The doses that arrived were administered remarkably slowly as the public hesitated – fueled in part by skeptical rhetoric from politicians like Macron – and delays in getting approval for people over 65. The US, which has ordered 300 million doses, has yet to get the vaccine be allowed. Astraeneca’s US study was suspended for seven weeks last fall. Concern about the company’s studies heightened after it was found that some UK participants were mistakenly given half a dose (surprisingly, they had better results). The study data is now finally being verified by independent observers, and an emergency clearance could come in for about a month, Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, told Reuters today. Collins said he was not concerned about the reports of blood clots, adding, “There may be some overreaction to something that has nothing to do with the vaccine itself. “There are tens of millions of cans in a facility in Ohio right now, the NY Times reports. The White House has denied applications to send them abroad – including reports from the European Union. Go further: Europe’s new coronavirus surge is on.” a warning to the US like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.

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