A woman receives AstraZeneca vaccine dose at a centre in Paris. AFP
Several European countries resumed AstraZeneca vaccinations Friday after an all-clear from EU regulators, as US President Joe Biden was set to meet his goal of having 100 million Americans inoculated weeks ahead of schedule.
Worries that AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine may cause blood clots have seen countries from Venezuela to Indonesia pause its use in recent days, a setback for the drive to vaccinate populations against a virus that has killed nearly 2.7 million people.
Germany and Italy, both of which are attempting to fight off a third wave of the coronavirus, announced they were using the jab again as of Friday after the European Medicines Agency said it was "safe and effective.”
Other European countries including the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal are also ending their suspension, while in Asia, Indonesia said it would follow suit.
The vaccine was also brought back into use in France on Friday — but just hours later, the national health regulator recommended it should only be given to people aged 55 and over, given the reported blood clots were only seen in younger people.
Prime Minister Jean Castex — who is himself 55 — received an AstraZeneca dose on Friday in a bid to reassure citizens that it is safe.
Around a third of France's population will enter a new month-long, limited lockdown from Saturday, after the country recorded its highest new caseload in nearly four months.
Non-essential businesses will close in Paris and other areas hit by the new restrictions, mainly in northern France, although schools will stay open.
In neighbouring Germany, infection rates are once again rising exponentially.
Amid these concerns, several politicians got the shot Friday, including French Prime Minister Jean Castex; Slovenian President Borut Pahor and Prime Minister Janez Jansa; and a German state governor. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also plans to. Britain never suspended use of AstraZeneca.
Castex, 55, said he stepped up because he wanted to show full confidence in the shot, even though he is not yet eligible under France’s rules. The former director of the Pasteur Institute, Patrick Berche, told BFMTV the move was "a very beautiful gesture.”
Scientists still predict a safe and effective vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 could take at least 12-18 months to develop, according to a new report from a section of the media.
A common complication of viral infections such as the flu or the coronavirus is a secondary, superimposed bacterial infection — or a superinfection — resistant to the treatment being used against the primary infection.
The row came as Italy prepared the next stage of its gradual easing of a national lockdown imposed three months ago to fight the spread of the deadly virus.
"We still have to bury a man and his two twin daughters. They're dead but we haven't recovered the bodies," she added. Other burials are planned in the coming days.
"The fire caused some parts of the ceiling to fall due to the use of highly flammable, low-cost construction materials," the statement said, with "preliminary information" suggesting fireworks were to blame for the blaze.
Taylor Schabusiness was arrested on Feb.23, 2022, after Thyrion's mother called police to her house after she discovered her son’s head in a bucket in the basement.