© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Illustrative image of a vial labeled AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine (COVID-19)
By Ben Blanchard and Colin Packham
TAIPEI / CANBERRA (Reuters) – Many Asian countries are accelerating the rollout of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine (NASDAQ 🙂 after believing its safety was affected, after it was reported that This vaccine has been linked to a rare blood clot in Europe earlier this month. .
After a short hiatus of use, many European countries continued to use the vaccine in their vaccination programs after a regional regulator said it was safe, while some National leaders are also using this vaccine to increase confidence.
Vaccination AstraZeneca is one of the first and cheapest COVID-19 vaccines developed and marketed in large numbers and considered a key spearhead of immunization programs in most developing countries. develop.
But the short-term suspension has raised concerns that the delay in vaccination could affect the global war against the pandemic, as coronavirus infections rise in some countries, overwhelming the systems. health care system and hurt the economy.
Taiwan’s Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang told reporters: “I just finished the injection (AstraZeneca), there is no pain at the injection site and my body does not hurt”.
The Thai prime minister also became the first in the country to receive an AstraZeneca vaccine after its launch was temporarily halted due to safety concerns, while Indonesia started using it on Monday. after the suspension last week. But the Indonesian Food and Drug Administration has warned not to use it for people with blood clotting disorders.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, 68, plans to give the injection on Tuesday after the government said it could be used by the elderly.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson received his first dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, saying he “felt nothing”.
The European Medicines Authority said on Thursday the vaccine is effective and has not been linked to an increased risk of overall blood clots.
However, a survey released on Monday found people in seven European countries were more likely to find the vaccine as unsafe than safe.
Many Asian countries rely heavily on the AstraZeneca vaccine to end the pandemic, as it is being used in immunization programs in Australia, Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and India. Degree.
Some countries may face supply problems.
A source with direct knowledge of the matter said India, the country with the highest rates of coronavirus infection after the United States and Brazil, is delaying the supply of the vaccine to some countries, because of this. faced a second increase in the number of cases.
The Serum Institute of India (SII), which makes the AstraZeneca vaccine, has told Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Morocco that additional supplies will be delayed due to rising demand in the country, who this said.
Australia, which has only injected 1% of its population so far, is also ramping up vaccinations after the country’s pharmaceutical regulator approved on Sunday allowing local production of the AstraZeneca vaccine by CSL (OTC). :).
Within 12 weeks, CSL is expected to produce 1 million doses of the vaccine per week.