Denmark, Iceland, and Norway have suspended their country's use of the
COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccines, this after some people who received the
jab later developed blood clots.
Now, as a precautionary measure, the deployment of allotments of the
AstraZeneca vaccine in the three Nordic countries has been halted. It
raises questions about the efficacy and safety of this particular
vaccine, a vaccine that has already begun to be rolled out in Belize.
And with over 2,500 of our citizens having received at least one dose
it's news that could raise alarm bells in an already wary public.
But how worried should you be? We put the question to Public Health
Specialist Dr. Marcelo Coyi this afternoon and he told us that blood
clots and pulmonary embolisms are a common cause of death and that if
the vaccines are to be blamed a link between shot and side effect would
have to be established.
"The comment we're seeking this morning is on the Astra Zeneca vaccine,
we've heard that countries like Denmark, Norway, and Austria have had to
suspend the use of the vaccine after one or two of their citizens have died
of blood clots. We've just started to rollout Astra Zeneca here in Belize
and we know that over 2000 Belizeans have got it, should we be concerned?
Should we be looking at suspending the vaccine for now?"
Dr. Marcelo Coyi - Public Health Specialist
"I would say definitely not, definitely not we are having our own
surveillance here, we give a card to the people that get the vaccine and
they have a number to call. If they have any serious side effects we are
having our own surveillance system, you have to remember and you have to
put things in context no that one of the commonest causes of death is
clots, particularly those that go to the lungs we call it pulmonary
embolism and that is gonna happen in the vaccinated and the non-vaccinated
persons. Anybody who is obese for example has an increased incidence of
blood clots, anybody who has other cancers for example has an increased
risk of blood clots, and so there are pre-existing conditions that cause
blood clots. We need to have that association causal link then to say that
one is causing the other. What we need to do is to recognize it. If it
happens then we need to investigate is as to how the people in Denmark are
doing it no but you remember that millions of doses of AstraZeneca has been
given I think in England alone there are over 6 million doses and they
haven't had those serious side effects so yes we have to be aware of it but
we shouldn't be alarmed about it."
And despite those halts, The European Medicines Agency has said the
Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine can continue to be used.
And in a statement released yesterday, the EMA says quote: " 30 cases
of "thrombo-embolic events" or blood clots had been reported among 5
million people who had received the jab in Europe so far. "The
vaccine's benefits continue to outweigh its risks. " End quote.