AstraZeneca Vaccine Resumed by the EU

Rome, March 19 (AFP/APP): There was relief, frustration and fear on Friday as a number of European nations resumed administering the AstraZeneca vaccine after the jabs were suspended over safety fears.

“I’m a bit anxious of course, but what can you do? We have to do this, and we do it,” said Valentina, a 42-year-old teacher who was among the first in line to get the jab at the newly reopened vaccine centre at Rome’s Termini station.

Roberto, 58, also a teacher, dismissed any worries about the vaccine, telling AFP: “On the contrary, the fear was that they would not let us receive it.” The centre was shut earlier this week after Italy banned the use of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine over fears of links to blood clots, one of several European nations to take action.

It reopened on Friday afternoon following the EU regulator’s ruling Thursday that the vaccine is “safe and effective” — and a queue of people with appointments quickly formed outside, while others unsuccessfully tried to get a slot.

Most said they had no concerns about being vaccinated with AstraZeneca, although there was some frustration at the suspension of the programme at a time when most of Italy is locked down because of a surge in cases.

“I feel sad because, of course it is better to be safe, to study (the evidence), but in the end nothing changed, so we just lost four days,” said Francesco, 53.

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