AstraZeneca: Doubts and cancellations at vaccinations centres “But vaccination is still the safest option”

A number of vaccination centres in our region report cancellations from people that were due to be vaccinated in the coming days. The cancellations have come amid concerns about possible side effects of the coronavirus vaccine produced by the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca. The authorities in Denmark and Iceland have suspended vaccinations using the AstraZeneca vaccine after a number of people that had been given it developed blood clots. 

However, there is no evidence that the blood clots were related to them having been given the vaccine. Scientists are currently examining whether this could be the case.

Speaking on VRT Radio 1’s morning news and current affairs programme ‘De ochtend’ Joris Moonens of the Flemish Care and Health Agency said "We don’t have an overall view of whether a lot of people are cancelling. But from contacts we’ve had with several vaccination centres we have learned that yesterday there were people with doubts and sometimes cancellations”.

Mr Moonens says that this is understandable that people have doubts when they hear these kinds of report.

"Of course, this isn’t good for the preparedness of people to get vaccinated. But on the other hand, it shows that vaccination safety is continually being monitored so that swift action can be taken if there are any doubts about the vaccine. To be completely clear there are currently no such doubts. Hopefully the information given by the European Medicines Agency will be enough to send people heading for the vaccination centre”.

In any case the figures don’t show any greater prevalence of blood clots among people that have been vaccinated. "Confidence in the vaccine is definitely as high as it was previously. If you don’t get vaccinated, you will be putting yourself in a much more unsafe position. So, don’t put off getting vaccinated. The vaccination option is still the safest path you can take”, Mr Moonens concluded. 

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