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Europe Temporarily Suspends Use of AstraZeneca: Russia's Sputnik V Help Rejected

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T'is better to die than imbibe the enemy's cure for Covid-19. Russiaphobia lives well in vassal state Denmark. Spuntik V be damned.

A score of blood clots experienced by persons vaccinated with Astra-Zeneca product against the corona virus in some countries recently have caused suspension of its use in several lands. Two women have died-a 60 year-old Danish woman and a 49 year-old Austrian female nurse.

Denmark's government announced on Thursday, March 11, exactly one year from the first lockdown, that the AstraZeneca vaccine is temporarily suspended. Brostrøm om AstraZeneca-vaccinen: Yngre og umiddelbart raske mennesker ramt af mulige bivirkninger | Indland | DR

Norway, Iceland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Italy followed suit. They "suspended the use of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine over concerns about patients developing post-jab blood clots, as the manufacturer and Europe's medicines watchdog insisted the vaccine was safe". Some suspended use of batches but not all of their AZ doses.

Three European countries suspend use of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine (livemint.com)

The countries that produced the AZ vaccine, England and Sweden, have not suspended its use.

Austria announced, on March 8, that it had ceased using a batch of AstraZeneca vaccines after the nurse died of "severe blood coagulation problems" days after receiving an anti-Covid shot. Another nurse developed pulmonary embolism.

South Africa suspended using the AZ vaccine last month, because the trial of "about 2000 people, found such a low efficacy against mild and moderate disease, under 25%, that it would not meet minimal international standards for emergency use. But scientists are hopeful it might still prevent severe disease and death" South Africa suspends use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine after it fails to clearly stop virus variant | Science | AAAS (sciencemag.org)

For the past two days, I have listened to the main Danish radio news and to all seven hours of DR TV news and analysis programs about the AZ crisis and the long fight against corona virus. Not one word was spoken about Russia's effective vaccines. Sputnik V is judged by The Lancet study to be 91.6% effective. This important fact was not even brought out on the "Doctor's Table" program, in which Danish medical experts placed AZ at 61% effective. Sputnik V vaccine is 91.6% effective against symptomatic covid-19 | New Scientist; Safety and immunogenicity of S-Trimer (SCB-2019), a protein subunit vaccine candidate for COVID-19 in healthy adults: a phase 1, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial - The Lancet

In Denmark, and generally in the EU, Sputnik V has been ignored. Ironically, the right-wing Hungarian government is the first to break ranks and has bought Sputnik V and China's Sinopharm, as well as the three Western produced vaccines.

A Russian think tank/website, Stragetic-Culture Foundation March 12 editorial stated: "The longer the delay in vaccinating the European population the greater the danger of new variants emerging, and hence the longer the delay in returning societies to pre-pandemic normalcy. Populations are becoming restive over protracted lockdowns. Economies and livelihoods have been wrecked by the pandemic. Millions of jobs have been lost." This is the context in which EU official reluctance to deploy Sputnik V must be seen. The European Medicines Agency, the regulator for vaccines, has still not approved the Russian shot even though the requisite data for application for use had been submitted two months ago by the Russian developer of the vaccine." Russia Offers Europe Win-Win Vaccine Solution - Strategic Culture (strategic-culture.org)

Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen visited Israel last week to help "find a solution for the lack of vaccines". Israel does not produce any vaccines against corona. Her trip was met with some critique, because her visit can be seen as aiding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during an electoral campaign. He is facing a court case on charges of corruption. Netanyahu is also responsible for persistent abuses of Palestinians human rights, theft of their territory and housing, encaging children who resist, and aggressively warring against several Middle Eastern nations.

Nevertheless, PM Frederiksen met with Netanyahu and Austria's foreign minister, Sebastian Kurtz in Jerusalem. These politicians decided to start a fund for research and possible production of future vaccines-not of any use for the immediate pandemic.

Of the nearly 800,000 Danes vaccinated once or twice (about 14% of the population) as of this writing, 142,000 persons have taken the AZ vaccine. The others have had Pfizer and Moderna-95% and 94% efficacy.

In a DR interview with Soeren Brostroem, director of Denmark's Health Agency, he stated: "The European Medicines Agency has looked at reports from several EU countries - including Austria and Denmark - with younger and basically healthy people who were vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, and who then had large blood clots in many different parts of the body in both the large and small blood vessels. So these are very serious blood clot diseases - and unfortunately also in some cases with fatal outcome."

AZ had been under suspicion before this. Danish medical authorities were doubtful about using it for people over 65 years of age. Just 10 days before the first death due to blood clotting, Denmark's health agency authorized the vaccine for all Danes.

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Ron Ridenour is a retired journalist, anti-war and radical activist; author of a dozen books, including "The Russian Peace Threat: Pentagon on Alert".

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