A similar vaccine, Covishield, is injected into Ukrainians. It is made under license from a British company. And, as the Ukrainian authorities assure, it is completely identical.
It is all the more important to understand what problems have arisen with AstraZeneca in the European Union.
After being vaccinated with "AstraZeneca" in Austria, a woman died, and the second was hospitalized. In both cases, they received a dose from the same batch, and soon deadly blood clots were found in their bodies.
After that, other EU countries began to restrict the use of the Oxford vaccine. As of March 11, the list of countries where vaccinations from AstraZeneca were "frozen" is as follows:
The first vaccinations were paused in Austria. On March 7, they stopped vaccination of one of the batches of the drug AstraZeneca after one woman died as a result of blood clotting disorders, and the second was admitted to hospital with pulmonary embolism. Both of them were vaccinated with the same vaccine batch at the clinic in Tsvetle. An investigation into the incidents was launched.
The batch of vaccines announced in Austria consisted of a million doses and reached 17 EU countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden.
Following the Austrian announcement, vaccinations were suspended in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg and Cyprus. They decided to wait for the results of the investigation.
A few days later, the list of countries expanded. On March 11, AstraZeneca vaccination was suspended in Denmark. They also reported a possible side effect in the form of blood clots.
As Minister of Health of the country Magnus Heunike said, it is still impossible to determine whether the vaccination is really associated with the subsequent formation of blood clots in a person, but the country decided to act proactively and conduct an investigation.
The Danish health department noted that this does not mean that the AstraZeneca vaccine is being abandoned, as there are reliable documents showing that the vaccine is safe and effective.
“But we must respond to reports of possible serious side effects,” said Seren Broström, director of the Danish Health Authority.
Iceland followed Denmark's example, as did Norway. "This is a cautionary decision," Geir Buholm, director of infection prevention and control at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, told a news conference.
At the same time, in Norway, as in Denmark, they noted that the suspension does not mean a complete rejection of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Vaccination with AstraZeneca was suspended in Italy today. In a statement, the Italian Medicines Agency (Aifa) said the precautionary measures were decided after reports of some serious side effects that were observed during the administration of doses from the ABV2856 batch of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
What do European officials say?
So far, the European Medicines Agency has not linked incidents in Austria with the likely unsatisfactory quality of the drug or its side effects.
Moreover, the EMA recommends that you continue to be vaccinated with AstraZeneca.
The department's position is that the benefits of the vaccine still outweigh the risks.
At the same time, the instruction of AstraZeneca contains an item: "Diseases associated with blood clotting are a contraindication to vaccination." The manufacturer also indicates that people with severe and/or uncontrolled cardiovascular disease were not included in their trials. On all these points, AstraZeneca and Covishield, brought to Ukraine, at least on paper, coincide.
Investigations into deaths following the AstraZeneca vaccination are ongoing. The British company has not yet commented on the incidents.