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Our View: Fate of AZ shot in Cyprus sealed by death


Isn’t it odd that for the past 15 months every hellish restriction the government has imposed on us was to ‘save every life possible’ from Covid-19 but the lives of those being lost, possibly through vaccine use, are just being classed as collateral damage?

Everyone knows there is a risk in taking medication and that is why some people for instance cannot be given penicillin. Yet everyone in the world, irrespective of their medical history, age or immune health, is being given the same medicine so there will be casualties, no matter how rare.

But while it’s easy for a government official to say the benefits outweigh the risk, at what point do you start looking at the figures and decide something is worth investigating? Until May 8, the EU’s vaccine reporting system EudraVigilance, which also tracks reports of injuries, saw 208,873 reports regarding AstraZeneca, 170,528 for Pfizer, 23,000 for Moderna and 2,873 for the J&J jab. The vast majority of these reports were made by health professionals, not Joe Bloggs with a post-vaccine headache.

A couple of months ago, the J&J shot was suspended in the US as a precaution after there was a mere six cases of blood clots out of seven million jabs. In the UK they looked at the figures and assessed that there was a higher risk in giving the AZ jab to people under 40. A number of other EU countries have made similar assessments and adjusted their vaccine programmes accordingly. What did they see that we are not seeing, or refusing to see?

The government is sticking its collective head in the sand and hiding behind the European Medicines Agency. All it seems concerned with is being the ‘number one jabber’ in the EU.

The acting director of pharmaceutical services Elena Panayiotopoulou said it was highly unlikely the policy regarding AstraZeneca would change. Cyprus is the only country both within and outside the EU, she said, which offers people the right to choose which vaccine they will receive.

This was totally disingenuous. She made it sound like everyone who chose the AZ injection did so willingly. Some certainly did choose it after weighing up their options. But others who were desperate to be vaccinated saw it as the only way they would get a jab since the Pfizer and Moderna shots were disappearing within five minutes of the vaccine portal opening.

Everyone knows the ministry, which ordered many more doses of AZ than the others, is dumping the shot on people who are not Gesy beneficiaries and if you’re a foreign resident tough luck.

Either way, the genie is out of the bottle. Cypriots were already wary of the AZ jab after a number of people died from blood clots in Europe. The tragic death this week of a 39-year-old British woman has sealed the particular vaccine’s fate whether there is a link or not to the shot. The government should have a rethink.

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