Italian regulator says decision to suspend AstraZeneca 'political'

Italian regulator says decision to suspend AstraZeneca 'political'
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Italy’s medicines authority director-general on Tuesday called the decision to suspend AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine shots "political."

“We got to the point of a suspension because several European countries, including Germany and France, preferred to interrupt vaccinations... to put them on hold in order to carry out checks. The choice is a political one,” Nicola Magrini told daily la Repubblica, Reuters reported.

The three countries suspended the vaccine on Monday after blood clots that emerged after vaccination led to the death of multiple people in Europe.

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However, the World Health Organization said it found no link between the blood clots and AstraZeneca’s vaccine. 

Magrini said there have been four cases of serious side effects from the coronavirus vaccine in Italy and eight deaths, according to Reuters. Overall, Magrini said the AstraZeneca’s vaccine is safe and has been working in Italy.

Italy recently blocked a shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines from leaving the country, arguing it had failed to meet its contractual obligations to provide the vaccine to the European Union. 

Countries are asking the United States to send its AstraZeneca vaccines overseas as millions of doses are being stored but not used since AstraZeneca vaccines has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.