BBC’s Katya Adler insisted that Italy felt under pressure to suspend the rollout of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine. While speaking on Newscast, she said despite its own advisors saying not to suspend the use of the vaccine, the Italian Government decided to plough ahead with the temporary ban. She claimed this was due to mounting pressure from their citizens with concerns due to bigger European nations Germany and France suspending the vaccine.
Ms Adler said: “You do see differences in European countries when there are medical advisory bodies advising Governments about vaccines.
“Sometimes, like in Germany, they have advised them to pause the Astrazeneca rollout.
“But others, like in Italy it is not the case at all.
“You have got the advisory agency in Italy saying to carry on with AstraZeneca, in Belgium it is the same, absolutely carry on, nobody is stopping using AstraZeneca.
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“The Italian Government felt under pressure to stop it to show its public that it was taking the same precautionary measures as other European giants like Germany and France.
“I would say there is some medical scientific precaution and a lot of political nervousness amongst European countries.
“They just want to be seen to be protecting their public just in case there is a problem with AstraZeneca.”
Medical bodies within the European Union have largely criticised this move by member states to temporarily ban AstraZeneca.
Executive Director Emer Cooke for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) argued that there was not yet evidence to suggest that blood clotting was a regular side effect of having the AstraZeneca vaccine.
This comes after a heavily criticised move by Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel to suspend the vaccine in their countries.
During a press briefing, Ms Cooke insisted that the EMA would be launching its own investigation into this issue regardless.
She said: “When you vaccinate millions of people it’s inevitable you have rare or serious incidences of illnesses that occur after vaccination.
“Our role is to evaluate these so we can figure out is this a real side effect or is it a coincidence.”