Thursday, February 18, 2021

AstraZeneca vaccine faces resistance in Europe after health workers suffer side-effects

 Health authorities in some European countries are facing resistance to AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine after side-effects led hospital staff and other front-line workers to call in sick, putting extra strain on already-stretched services.


Such symptoms, as reported in clinical trials for the AstraZeneca shot, can include a high temperature or headache and are a normal sign that the body is generating an immune response. They usually fade within a day or so.

The other shots approved in Europe, developed by Pfizer and Moderna, have been linked to similar temporary side-effects, including fever and fatigue.

But with the AstraZeneca shot the latest to be rolled out, health authorities in France have issued guidance to stagger giving the shot, two regions in Sweden paused vaccinations, and in Germany some essential workers are refusing it.

A spokesman for AstraZeneca said: "Currently, the reactions reported are as we would expect based on the evidence gathered from our clinical trial programme."

People receiving the vaccine are closely monitored through routine pharmacovigilance activities, the Anglo-Swedish drug maker said, adding that it was continuing to keep a close eye on the situation.

"There have been no confirmed serious adverse events," the spokesman said.

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