A cascading number of European countries — including Germany, France, Italy and Spain — suspended use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine Monday over reports of dangerous blood clots in some recipients, though the company and international regulators say there is no evidence the shot is to blame. AstraZeneca’s formula is one of three vaccines in use on the continent. But the escalating concern is another setback for the European Union’s vaccination drive, which has been plagued by shortages and other hurdles and is lagging well behind the campaigns in Britain and the U.S.
The EU’s drug regulatory agency called a meeting for Thursday to review experts’ findings on the AstraZeneca shot and decide whether action needs to be taken. The furor comes as much of Europe is tightening restrictions on schools and businesses amid surging cases of COVID-19. Germany’s health minister said the decision to suspend AstraZeneca shots was taken on the advice of the country’s vaccine regulator, the Paul Ehrlich Institute, which called for further investigation into seven cases of clots in the brains of people who had been vaccinated.
Facebook’s Plans To Help Get People Vaccinated Against COVID-19
Facebook is rolling out a handful of new tools on its platforms to help people get vaccinated against Covid-19.The tech giant, which owns Instagram and WhatsApp, announced on Monday that it will use its platforms to help assist users in learning more about Covid-19 vaccines, including where and when they can get vaccinated.
Facebook debuts vaccine pop-up windows to stop the spread of misinformation“Now that many countries are moving towards vaccinations for all adults, we’re working on tools to make it easier for everyone to get vaccinated as well,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in prepared remarks posted to the social media platform on Monday.”First, we’re launching a tool that shows you when and where you can get vaccinated, and gives you a link to make an appointment,” Zuckerberg wrote in the post. “This will be in the Covid Information Center, which we’ll show people right in their News Feed.”The Covid Information Center will also be on Instagram, where Zuckerberg said the company will “show it to people prominently there too.”The company, Zuckerberg added, is also “working with health authorities and governments to expand their WhatsApp chatbots to help people register for vaccines.”