Health authorities in several European countries are experiencing resistance to AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine. This happened amid news of side effects and concerns that it may be ineffective against some of the newer variants.
AstraZeneca vaccine side-effects
There are common reports of people getting side effects including fever and headaches from the vaccine. However, health authorities in Europe said they are not a serious concern and usually fade in a day.
According to health authorities in Germany, many people said they would wait for one of the rival vaccines. Whereas in France and Italy medical staff have been willing to avoid the AstraZeneca shot.
The other shots, developed by Pfizer and Moderna in Europe, have similar side-effects. This includes fever and fatigue.
AstraZeneca spokesman said: “Currently, the reactions reported are as we would expect based on the evidence gathered from our clinical trial program. These include transient local and systemic reactions such as temporary injection site pain and tenderness, mild-to-moderate headache, fatigue, chills, feverishness, malaise, and muscle ache.
“Our vaccine has been authorized in more than 50 countries across four continents. There have been no confirmed serious adverse events associated with AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine.”
In the German city of Dortmund, many firefighters fell sick after being given the jab, while authorities in France are investigating after nurses suffered “intense flu-like symptoms”.
Statement from a Communications Manager
Melanie Cotigny, Communications Manager at Saint-Lo hospital in Normandy said, “AstraZeneca caused more side-effects than the Pfizer vaccine.”
“Between 10% and 15% of those vaccinated may have side-effects from this vaccination, but it is only a feverish state, fevers, nausea and within 12 hours it goes away.”
The situation got worse after calls to stop using the AstraZeneca vaccine in areas of eastern France. Those areas have suffered from an outbreak of the Brazilian and South African mutations of the virus.
Alain Fischer, a senior vaccine adviser, suggested that health workers in the Moselle region should be given the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines as a “precautionary measure”.
The French medicines safety agency said on Feb. 11 that such side-effects were “known and described”. But they should be subject to surveillance with regard to their intensity. It also advised staggering vaccinations of front-line staff working in teams to avoid operational disruption.
Reports of flu-like symptoms
The agency has received 149 reports of strong flu-like side-effects from the AstraZeneca vaccine. During this time a total of 10,000 people received the shot across the nation.
AstraZeneca’s vector-based vaccine is the third to seek regulatory approval in the European Union. The European Medicines Agency recommended it about 60% effective, compared to more than 90% for the vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.