AstraZeneca vaccine faces resistance after European health workers suffer side-effects

AstraZeneca vaccine faces resistance after European health workers suffer side-effects

AstraZeneca vaccine faces resistance after European health workers suffer side-effects

Health authorities in some European countries are facing resistance to AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine after side-effects led hospital staff and other front-line workers to call in sick, putting extra strain on already-stretched services.

Such symptoms, as reported in clinical trials for the AstraZeneca shot, can include a high temperature or headache and are a normal sign that the body is generating an immune response. They usually fade within a day or so. 

The agency put out the advice after receiving 149 alerts of often strong flu-like side-effects from the AstraZeneca vaccine. During this period a total of 10,000 people received the shot nationwide.

Some U.S. hospitals and other organisations with front-line staff adopted a similar strategy when the country’s vaccination programme started in December. The United States is administering shots from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

The other shots approved in Europe, developed by Pfizer and Moderna, have been linked to similar temporary side-effects, including fever and fatigue. But with the AstraZeneca shot the latest to be rolled out, health authorities in France have issued guidance to stagger giving the shot, two regions in Sweden paused vaccinations, and in Germany some essential workers are refusing it.