has administered 11 million doses of it. The country’s medicines regulator has not reported any concerns about blood clotting for that vaccine or the Pfizer shot. It said in its latest safety report that “the number and nature of suspected adverse reactions reported so far are not unusual in comparison to other types of routinely used vaccines.”
Michael Head, a senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton, said “the decisions by France, Germany and other countries look baffling.” He said that the delay in inoculations, and “the potential for increased vaccine hesitancy,” were not aligned with any new or conclusive data.
In Germany, where a rise in cases is being driven by the more contagious variant first detected in Britain, a lasting suspension of AstraZeneca could delay vaccination of the population by a month, according to the Central Institute for Registered Doctors.
Italy’s prime minister, Mario Draghi, warned on Friday that his country was facing a “new wave of contagion” as cases spike and the variants spread there. Mr. Draghi has put an army general in charge of the vaccine rollout and hopes to increase vaccine doses to 500,000 a day, up from 100,000.
Now, some of the vaccines needed for that drive have been seized by the Italian police on the orders of local prosecutors investigating the death of a teacher who had received the AstraZeneca vaccine. The teacher’s cause of death is unknown.