EU decides on AstraZeneca, death record in Brazil

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The European regulator must deliver its conclusions on the potential link between the AstraZeneca vaccine against the coronavirus and the formation of blood clots (JOEL SAGET / AFP / Archives)

The European regulator is due to deliver its conclusions on Wednesday on the potential link between the AstraZeneca vaccine against the coronavirus and the formation of blood clots, while Brazil recorded a new record with more than 4,000 deaths in one day.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will hold a press conference this Wednesday at 14:00 GMT on “the conclusion of the examination of the alarm signal” launched about this vaccine in relation to “cases of thrombosis”, said the European regulator, based in Amsterdam.

EMA Executive Director Emer Cooke will attend the conference after several European countries suspended use of the Anglo-Swedish laboratory’s vaccine due to reports of blood clots among those vaccinated.

Moderna vaccine rolled out in the UK

The EMA said on Tuesday it was assessing whether the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine was potentially linked to the formation of rare blood clots, reported in several countries.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to the AstraZeneca laboratory in Macclesfield in the North East of England on April 7, 2021
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to the AstraZeneca laboratory in Macclesfield in the north-east of England on April 7, 2021 (Dave Thompson / POOL / AFP)

An EMA official had mentioned the existence of a “link” between the AstraZeneca vaccine and the cases of thrombosis observed after its administration, in an interview with the Italian daily Il Messaggero published Tuesday.

The EMA announced on March 18 that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine continued to outweigh the risks. This vaccine is one of four approved in the EU, along with that from Moderna, Pfizer / BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson due for deliveries on April 19.

Syringes and doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine on March 18, 2021 in Lichfield, whose cathedral has been converted into a vaccination center in central England
Syringes and doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine on March 18, 2021 in Lichfield, whose cathedral has been converted into a vaccination center in central England (Oli SCARFF / AFP / Archives)

The United Kingdom, which developed the AstraZeneca vaccine, announced on Wednesday that it was starting to use the anti-Covid vaccine from the American laboratory Moderna.

“The Moderna vaccine rollout begins today,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted. “We have ordered 17 million doses.”

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Pending the opinion of the MHRA, the British regulator, the University of Oxford has announced that it is suspending trials on children of the Covid-19 vaccine that it has developed with the Anglo-Swedish laboratory .

AstraZeneca suspended in Castile and Leon

The Spanish region of Castile and Leon (north-west) announced Wednesday to suspend vaccination against Covid-19 with AstraZeneca pending the publication of the EMA report.

A dose of AstraZeneca vaccine before being given at a Palestinian school in Hebron on April 7, 2021
A dose of AstraZeneca vaccine before being administered at a Palestinian school in Hebron on April 7, 2021 (HAZEM BADER / AFP)

Several countries have decided not to administer this vaccine below a certain age, such as France, Germany and Canada. Norway and Denmark have even suspended its use.

None of the 27 EU countries reached the goal of vaccinating 80% of people over 80 at the end of March, according to the Commission.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison blamed problems with the delivery of vaccines by the EU on Wednesday for the delay in the vaccination campaign in Australia.

“3.1 million vaccines have not reached Australia,” he said. “It’s a simple observation.”

The world facing the coronavirus
The world facing the coronavirus (Simon MALFATTO / AFP)

The situation in the United States seems in contrast to Europe or Brazil, where a new record of deaths from Covid has been recorded.

“We can now project ourselves into post-pandemic life”: the governor of California announced Tuesday to reopen his state on June 15, thanks to the American vaccination campaign carried out with vigor.

“Our vaccination program is in full swing,” said US President Joe Biden, announcing that from April 19 all American adults would be eligible for vaccination, ten days ahead of its goals.

US President Joe Biden making announcements about the vaccination campaign April 6, 2021 at the White House in Washington
US President Joe Biden making announcements about the vaccination campaign on April 6, 2021 at the White House in Washington (Brendan Smialowski / AFP)

The most bereaved country in the world in absolute terms by the pandemic, with more than 550,000 dead, the United States is at more than three million injections per day on average over the last 7 days, according to the authorities.

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Meanwhile, the fight against Covid is increasingly chaotic in Brazil. The second country most bereaved by the pandemic continues dark records: more than 4,000 people died of Covid-19 on Tuesday alone.

“Political battle” in Brazil

A hospital worker plays for a patient infected with Covid-19 in Belem, Brazil, April 6, 2021
A hospital worker plays for a patient infected with Covid-19 in Belem, Brazil, April 6, 2021 (Tarso SARRAF / AFP)

This Latin American country delivers its fight against the coronavirus in the greatest confusion, with a range of measures for contradictory schools, churches or restaurants, poorly explained and subject to the vagaries of judicial decisions.

“In Rio we are caught in the middle of a political battle between the mayor and the governor, and that adds even more confusion”, deplores Marcia Matos, resident of one of the largest cities of the country.

And nationally, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro continues to criticize the restrictions, in the name of preserving jobs.

A nurse lifts a Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Duque de Caxias, Brazil, March 30, 2021
A nurse lifts an anti-Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Duque de Caxias in Brazil, March 30, 2021 (Mauro Pimentel / AFP / Archives)

Amnesty called on Wednesday for a surge in the face of the “virtual monopoly” of rich countries in access to immunization, “leaving the countries with the fewest resources to face the worst consequences”, according to the secretary general of the NGO, the French Agnès Callamard.

Half of the approximately 680 million doses administered worldwide were administered in “high income” countries as defined by the World Bank (16% of the world population), while “low income” countries (9 % of humanity) only concentrate 0.1% of the doses injected, according to a count made Tuesday by AFP from official data.

In addition, according to the largest study to date on the mental assessment of former coronavirus patients, one in three people who have overcome Covid-19 has been diagnosed with neurological or psychiatric disorders within six months of infection.

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Anxiety (17%) and mood disorders (14%) were the most common diagnoses, according to the study, which appeared in the specialist journal The Lancet Psychiatry on Wednesday.

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