‘No evidence!’ German MEP eviscerates ‘panicked’ Merkel and Macron for AstraZeneca snub

AstraZeneca: EU 'fiddling while Rome burns' says doctor

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France, Italy, Spain and Germany are among those to halt use of the Oxford-produced jab over unsubstantiated fears it causes blood clots. The EU capitals, led by scaremongering from Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel, moved despite the bloc’s drugs watchdog saying the benefits of the vaccine “outweigh the risks of side effects”. So far more than half of the bloc’s 27 countries have halted the use of the life-saving jab.

German MEP Gunnar Beck said: “I cannot comment on whether vaccination is best, or indeed the most appropriate treatment of coronavirus, as there are prophylactics such as Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine, together with Vitamin C and Zinc, which have served some countries well at much lower cost.

“However, there is as yet no clear evidence that the AstraZeneca vaccine is generally less effective or generally more dangerous than other EU or US vaccines.

“What we do know is that it is considerably cheaper.”

He added: “It really does show how much of a mess the EU has made of the vaccine procurement.

“Individual countries are starting to take their own panicked decisions due to the EU’s failures.”

A number of countries, including Germany, Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Romania, Latvia, Austria, Lithuania, Estonia, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Bulgaria, have all announced suspensions of the AstraZeneca jab.

They moved after reports of a small number of blood clots among people who had received the jab.

It means EU member states are now sitting on a mountain of AstraZeneca vaccines while the bloc’s jabs rollout flounders.

Capitals have almost eight million doses of the Oxford jab and have administered only around half of the shots delivered by the Anglo-Swedish firm.

The EMA is due to publish further analysis on the reports of blood clots today but says the jab is safe.

The EU regulator said: “While its investigation is ongoing, the EMA currently remains of the view that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing COVID-19, with its associated risk of hospitalisation and death, outweigh the risks of side effects.”

Experts hit out at the EU countries for suspending the use of the jab despite evidence suggesting the move is unjustified.

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Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, a statistician from the University of Cambridge, said: “These pauses, I don’t think you can consider these as being cautious.

“They actually could be doing more harm than good. If it means there is a delay in rolling out the vaccine to people who would otherwise have a vaccine, then that will cause harm.

“I’ve looked at AstraZeneca reports and they’ve said that 17 million jabs across the EU and the UK had been administered, and they’ve had about 15 cases of deep vein thrombosis and 22 cases of pulmonary embolism reported.”

Professor Andrew Pollard, head of the Oxford University vaccine group, said regulators were right to investigate but insisted safety data was “very reassuring”.

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He said around 3,000 cases of blood clots occur every month in the UK from other causes.

He added: “When you then put a vaccination campaign on top of that, clearly those blood clots still happen and you’ve got to then try and separate out whether, when they occur, they are at all related to the vaccine or not.”

Dr Phil Bryan, the MHRA vaccines safety lead, said the number of blood clots reported among more than 11 million people who have received the Oxford jab in the UK was no higher than would be expected to occur naturally.

He said: “We are closely reviewing reports but the evidence available does not suggest the vaccine is the cause.

“People should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so.”

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