Halting the AstraZeneca Vaccine Could Do More Damage Than Good

The evidence is still very patchy that the vaccine increases blood clot risk. But even if it does: So does the birth control pill.

Photo: Marco Verch

The AstraZeneca vaccine rollout was already chaotic. But overly jumpy governmental decisions may have made it even worse. Countries like Denmark, Norway, France, Germany, and Italy all temporarily halted AstraZeneca vaccinations in the past week amid reports of some people developing rare blood clots after getting the shot. The move followed false starts in the clinical trials (the vaccine may not match the efficacy those trials promised) and production and distribution of the shots falling well short of targets. Skepticism of the vaccine was high even before shots went into arms or early reports of potential side effects were reported.

And yet: The AstraZeneca vaccine works. Even if it may not work as well as anticipated against some variants—a recent study suggests it’s not effective against the South African variant—it is still at least 60 percent effective against others, meaning those who receive the vaccine are 60 percent less likely to get symptomatic Covid-19 than those who do not. It’s not clear how common the blood clots actually are, whereas the risk of catching and dying from Covid-19, which is surging once again across Europe, is significant. Halting vaccinations, even temporarily while the blood clot concern is investigated, could mean more lives are lost than saved—and it could damage already fragile trust in both the vaccine and government agencies. Read more at The New Republic.

Categories: Freelance Articles

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