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‘Up to 80 percent’ in Sicily refuse AZ vaccine: president

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain Up to 80 percent of people offered the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine In Sicily refuse it out of fears over its safety, according to the southern Italian region’s president Nello Musumeci. Public confidence in the Anglo-Swedish jab has been badly shaken by reports linking it to rare, but potentially fatal, blood clots,…

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Up to 80 percentage of individuals offered the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine In Sicily deny it from fears over its security, according to the southern Italian region’s president Nello Musumeci.

Public confidence in the Anglo-Swedish jab has been severely shaken by reports linking it to infrequent, but potentially fatal, , also by conflicting recommendations on its use.

“In Sicily, there is an 80-percent refusal rate of the AstraZeneca . Every 100 people, 80 say no,” Musumeci said late Saturday in Catania, according to multiple .

Musumeci added:”It is natural” for people to be particularly concerned,”but we have a duty to believe scientists when they say it is more dangerous not to get vaccinated than to get vaccinated.”

The president actually meant to say”up to 80 percent,” his spokeswoman Michela Giuffrida told AFP on Sunday, including, as an example, that in the town of Syracuse the refusal rate was”30 percent.”

A large scale boycott of this AstraZeneca jab would put Italy’s vaccination plan–already fighting with supply shortages and botched priorities–under additional stress.

86 cases from 25 million

Earlier this week, the European Medicine Agency (EMA) said blood ailments should be listed as a”very rare” side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine,” but added that benefits continued to outweigh risks.

The announcement came after EMA analyzed 86 blood clotting instances, 18 of which have been fatal, from around 25 million people in Europe who received the AstraZeneca disease. The majority of the cases were in women aged under 60.

In response to the findings, Italy–that originally recommended the AstraZeneca vaccine for those in the 18-55 age group–restricted its use to people aged 60 and over.

Similar action was taken in other European countries.

On Friday, the EU medicines regulator also said that it was probing a possible connection between the AstraZeneca jab and another vessel disease causing tissue swelling and a fall in .

But the Italian government’s top scientific advisor on the coronavirus crisis, Franco Locatelli, insisted in a Sunday interview that worries over the Anglo-Swedish vaccine were”understandable, but unjustified.”

“I say that we are offering a vaccine that is safe and effective, which people must accept. That said, if we find ourselves facing a disarming number of defections, we will reconsider the issue,” he told La Stampa daily.

Italy is among the nations worst hit by the pandemic, with nearly 114,000 dead, but its own vaccination drive was criticised for failing to concentrate on the most at-risk group–that the elderly.

People inside their 70therefore are one of those most failed, with just 2.7 percent fully vaccinated compared to 4.1 percent for people in their 20s.

Overall, Italy has administered nearly 13 million doses and completely vaccinated 3.9 million people–equal to around 6.5 percent of a total population of a few 60 million.



© 2021 AFP

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‘Up to 80 percent’ at Sicily deny AZ vaccine: president (2021, April 11)
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