‘Blood clots’: Major European nations suspend COVID-19 vaccine

By Art Moore

A Marine receives the COVID-19 vaccination at the U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa at Camp Foster in Japan, Feb. 18, 2020. As thousands of service members receive the vaccine, they are given an “I got my COVID-19 vaccine because … ” sticker. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Karis Mattingly)

Amid reports of dangerous blood clots in some recepients, Germany, France, Italy and Spain became the latest nations to suspend use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The company and European regulators insist the vaccine is not to blame, the Associated Press reported.

AstraZeneca argues there have been 37 reports of blood clots out of more than 17 million people vaccinated in the European Union and Britain.

However, 54,571 adverse events have been reported in Europe in association with the AstraZeneca vaccine, including at least 198 deaths.

Nearly double that number, 102,100, are associated with the Pfizer mRNA vaccine, including at least 957 deaths, notes Alex Berenson, a former New York Times reporter who has devoted the past year to studying and reporting on the pandemic.

The AP reported the EU drug regulatory agency called a meeting for this Thursday to review findings and decide whether action needs to be taken on the AstraZeneca vaccine.

AstraZeneca is expected to apply for authorization in the United States, which relies on the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Last week, Denmark suspended used of the AstraZeneca vaccine, followed by Ireland, Thailand, the Netherlands, Norway, Iceland, Congo and Bulgaria.

The AP said Britain and Canada are standing by AstraZeneca’s vaccine for now.

Enlisting Trump

On Sunday, White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci reacted to a recent NPR poll that showed 47% of Trump supporters are choosing not to get a COVID vaccine.

“Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd brought up the issue of “vaccine hesitancy,” asking Fauci if Trump should be “enlisted” to “get his voters to take this vaccine.”

“Chuck, I hope he does, because the numbers that you gave are so disturbing,” Fauci said of the poll results. “How such a large proportion of a certain group of people would not want to make — would not want to get vaccinated merely because of political consideration. It makes absolutely no sense.”

Fauci said “political persuasion” needs to be disconnected “from what’s common sense, no-brainer public health things.”

“The history of vaccinology has rescued us from smallpox, from polio, from measles, from all of the other diseases. What is the problem here?” he asked.

Many health experts and scientists, however, have been cautious, pointing out that the coronavirus vaccines are experimental, having been developed in one year while it typically takes 10 to 15 years to bring a vaccine to market.

People who experience adverse reactions can filed a report via the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or VAERS. The passive reporting system has recorded more than 1,500 deaths associated with coronavirus vaccines.

Biden was asked by a reporter after remarks Monday at the White House whether Trump should get involved in promoting the vaccine.

He said the “thing that has more impact than anything Trump would say to the MAGA folks, is what the local doctor, what the local preacher, what the local people in the community say.”

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