Europe’s consumers are being sent confusing messages.
On the one hand vaccination is being proclaimed as a route out of the coronavirus pandemic.
But a number of countries are now curtailing the use of the Astra Zeneca vaccine, claiming that an unexpected side effect is the greater risk of blood clots after it has been administered.
This website has consistently written about the need to take no short cuts in approving the use of new drugs, notwithstanding the political pressures to deliver a solution to halting the coronavirus pandemic.
The chair of the EMA the EU drug regulator’s management board has recently urged caution about using the Russian vaccine Sputnik V before it is approved, giving rise to demands from developers of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for a “public apology”.
In the meanwhile severe reservations are being circulated about the Sinopharm produced Chinese vaccines, whilst other new vaccines from Johnson and Johnson and Moderna have been approved.
There is a dire need for clear and authoritative advice to the public on vaccination, and both government information services and the corporate communications services of the major drug companies need to drastically improve their acts as a matter of urgency.
This is not a question of competitive advantage between the different drug companies, it is a question of public health and the best solutions for the public, who deserve clear, fair and unequivocal scientific advice. If there is any doubt about the vaccines on offer, the public will not accept them.