Poll: AstraZeneca blood clots scare drives more Europeans to perceive vaccine as unsafe

More Europeans are now showing less confidence in the UK-Swedish AstraZenca COVID-19 vaccine due to fears of developing blood clots after immunization, according to a YouGov poll released on Monday.

“The decision by many countries, including many EU nations, suspending use of the AstraZeneca vaccine following concerns that it could cause blood clots, has hugely damaged public perceptions of the vaccine’s safety in Europe,” YouGov said in a statement.

In comparison to a similar survey conducted in February, people in France, Germany, Spain and Italy are now more prone to seeing the shot as unsafe.

“In each case this represents a substantial decline in perceived safety. In our previous survey in Germany, 43% said they believed the vaccine to be safe, compared to 40% who considered it unsafe. As of now, a majority of Germans think the vaccine is unsafe (55%) and just a third think it safe (32%),” the poll results showed.

In Italy and Spain, the level of confidence in AstraZeneca dropped from 54 and 59 percent to 36 and 38 percent, respectively.

“Only in Britain can the blood clots story be considered to have little to no impact, with the vast majority still considering the vaccine safe,” YouGov said.

In Sweden, the AstraZeneca vaccine is still seen as safe, with 43 percent of respondents saying that they are okay with it and 34 percent saying the opposite. Danes, on the other hand, are tied 42-42 percent.

The survey was conducted from March 15-18 among 1,672 UK citizens, 2,024 Germans, 1,022 French, 1,016 Italians, 1,050 Spaniards, 1,004 Danes and 1,017 Swedes.

On Thursday, the European Medicines Agency said that it had found no link between AstraZeneca vaccine administration and blood clots in inoculated people.

The research was carried out following a decision of a number of European countries, including Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, the Netherlands, Iceland and Norway, to suspend the use of the vaccine after reports on isolated cases of blood clotting in vaccinated people.


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