Europe’s COVID vaccine fiasco continues


Sumary of Europe’s COVID vaccine fiasco continues:

  • BARCELONA — Just when it appeared as if Europe much-criticized COVID vaccination rollout might finally be getting on track, new cases of the virus have skyrocketed, curfews and lockdowns have been reinstated and questions about the safety of some vaccines have led to an atmosphere of restive uncertainty across the continent..
  • curfew is in effect and new cases of COVID last week were exceeding 40,000 a day — told Yahoo News that the vaccine rollout has been pitiful..
  • The vaccine rollout in France has been badly managed, he said, and Parisians “are very angry and frustrated.”.
  • Between vaccine frustrations and the ongoing lockdown restrictions — which include shuttered restaurants, cafes and bars — Maruani said “The French are fed up,”.
  • Compounding Europe vaccine supply issues is the fact that the AstraZeneca shot — use of which was temporarily suspended last month by a dozen countries out of fears it might be linked to blood clots — is once again in limbo..
  • This week, the chairman of the team evaluating the vaccine for the European Medicines Agency, the regulatory arm that two weeks ago re-approved use in the Europe Union, confirmed a clear association between the vaccine and a rare blood clot disorder that can be deadly..
  • After studying reactions of the 23 million people in Europe who received the AstraZeneca vaccine as of mid-March, the agency said 84 had developed blood clots resulting in 18 deaths..
  • Those numbers were enough, however, to convince the British health agency to issue recommendations Wednesday to stop using the vaccine for those under 30 years of age, and for AstraZeneca to put the brakes on clinical studies of the vaccine on children..
  • Countries and regions across Europe are currently in the process of reviewing and changing their age guidelines, with some prohibiting vaccine use for those under age 65..
  • At the same time, the European Commission, which oversees vaccine purchases for the EU, is dismayed that while AstraZeneca has not delivered its promised shipments to the bloc, some 77 million doses of vaccines manufactured in Europe were being shipped off to other countries, including to Britain, where 48 percent of the population has already received at least one shot of a vaccine..
  • Unhappy with the amount of vaccine allotted to Austria, that country Chancellor Sebastian Kurz last week threatened to block the European Commission from buying an additional 100 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine — ultimately dropping that idea and announcing that he was instead negotiating the purchase of a million doses of the Russian vaccine that hasn’t been approved for use in the E.U..
  • But Russia Sputnik V vaccine, which is currently employed in several Eastern European immunization programs despite not yet being green-lit by the European Medicines Agency, is facing its own crisis of confidence..
  • Slovakian Prime Minister Igor Matovic resigned last week following criticism of his clandestine procurement of the vaccine..
  • The Lancet, the highly respected medical journal, reported in February that the Sputnik inoculation has efficacy rates of 91 percent, but Slovakia national health agency is currently refusing to authorize Sputnik use there, saying that the vaccine delivered this week is not the same vaccine studied by the Lancet..
  • EU Commissioner of Internal Trade Thierry Breton publicly asserted this week that the European Union is behind schedule simply because AstraZeneca, from which the bloc ordered 90 million doses, had delivered only 30 million, but he also recently announced that an unexpected early delivery of the Pfizer vaccine would get Europe back to speed..
  • Nevertheless, Breton, a former French finance minister and Harvard professor, maintains that the problems behind the continent vaccine calamitous rollout are more or less resolved..
  • (Loic Venance/AFP via Getty Images) What more, as he told Le Parisien, he expects Europe “will become the world’s leading vaccine producer by the end of the year, with a volume that could reach 3 billion doses per year, compared to 2 billion for the US.”.
  • Like Paris, Milan is again under a stringent lockdown, but vaccine-wise, at least, the situation is more hopeful..
  • Katia Maronati, a PR consultant in the country financial heart told Yahoo News that she is finally seeing a turnaround there — one that started only three weeks ago, not long after Prime Minister Mario Draghi took over the government….

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