On March 12, 2021, La Repubblica, Italy’s most widely circulated and trusted newspaper, placed a chilling headline on its front page: “AstraZeneca, Fear across Europe.”
Some reports linked the vaccine developed by Oxford University to a few unusual cases of blood clots, and several European countries were considering suspending its distribution. In my country, Italy, prosecutors were investigating the deaths of some individuals who passed away days or weeks after getting their jabs. But the connection between the vaccine and some severe side effects was not established.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) did not ban or discourage any government from distributing the AstraZeneca vaccine and, after carefully reviewing the cases, it mentioned a “possible” link with blood clots and confirmed that serious adverse events were “very rare.” “The benefits of the vaccine … continue to outweigh the risk of side effects,” the EMA wrote in a statement.
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