Blog  /  Insights

Physicians oppose AstraZeneca vaccine halt

In the midst of a third wave of the coronavirus sweeping across Europe, safety concerns prompted Germany, France, Spain and Italy to temporarily halt the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from being administered last week.

However, according to the Wall Street Journal, “The European Union’s health agency said the Covid-19 vaccine produced by AstraZeneca PLC was ‘safe and effective’ and didn’t increase the risk of blood clots…Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands said they would start vaccinating residents again…[A] new expert analysis concluded that the benefits of using a Covid-19 vaccine produced by AstraZeneca outweigh its potential risks…

Regulators in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, where vaccinations using the AstraZeneca vaccine have either resumed or weren’t suspended this week, didn’t comment immediately. Britain’s regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, said it was aware of the findings in Germany and Norway and was collaborating with U.K. experts to establish whether similar findings could be made in the U.K. 

‘Given the extremely rare rate of occurrence of these CSVT events among the 11 million people vaccinated, and as a link to the vaccine is unproven, the benefits of the vaccine in preventing Covid-19, with its associated risk of hospitalization and death, continue to outweigh the risks of potential side effects,’ a spokeswoman for the agency said.

As a precautionary measure, the agency advises anyone with persistent headaches, or bruising beyond the site of vaccination after a few days, to seek medical attention…

The German Society for Thrombosis and Hemostasis Research reviewed Prof. Greinacher’s work and issued a statement Friday advising physicians how to diagnose and treat the condition should it arise in vaccine recipients.

Dr. Robert Klamroth, deputy chairman of the Society for Thrombosis and Hemostasis Research, said the rare autoimmune reaction occurred more frequently in Germany because the country initially only authorized the vaccine for people younger than 64. Britain, which had fewer incidents but vaccinated many more people, was predominantly giving the shot to older recipients.

Once diagnosed, the condition should be treated with blood thinning medication and immunoglobulin, which targets the antibody that causes the problem. ‘We believe the most likely hypothesis is that this particular vaccine is causing a rare autoimmune reaction that triggers antibodies, which then interact with the platelets, but we don’t know why this is happening,’ Dr. Klamroth said.”

In a poll of 1,280+ Sermo physicians, 67% agree that the decision to pull the vaccine originally was not the right move. And 82% agree with the World Health Organization that this type of exodus from the AstraZeneca vaccine could undermine the rollout at a pivotal moment. 

Global Sermo physicians are split over their opinion on the vaccine rollout in their country: 51% are satisfied with the rollout, and 49% are not. Seventy-five percent of physicians are alarmed by the third wave of the coronavirus in Europe. However, 74% expect to see a third wave in their own country. 

Below, Sermo physicians from around the world share their professional insights, perspectives, and opinions on this important topic—in their own words:

This type of over-reaction has happened many times over past decades, robbing many of worthwhile therapies versus “traditional”, often untested historical treatments, due to hypercritical focus on innovation or a (likely) random clustering of events which may not be related. People are looking for problems with the valid solutions but doing nothing to help the issue at hand.

Politicians need to do what they do best: feather their own nests and deceive the voters, and let healthcare do it’s job of managing the consequences of political incompetence as best it can


Poor systems for seniors to make appointments. Vaccines should have been prioritized to primary care doctors for distribution.

Internal Medicine

At present blood clots are not occurring at a rate that would indicate a causative relationship with the vaccine. Covid is having a spike in Europe and is a bigger killer than blood clots.


One person between 250,000 is not enough to stop the vaccination with AstraZeneca.

General Practice (GP)

Yes, more and more cases of thrombosis and even sudden deaths several weeks after the AZ vaccine are being reported, even in people with no risk for this kind of adverse effects.

Allergy & Immunology

Everyday thousands of Sermo member physicians from diverse backgrounds and experiences exchange knowledge with each other. Sermo is the original medical social network that empowers today’s physicians. Over 1 million fully verified physicians across more than 150 countries come to our platform to talk with peers, participate in paid medical studies, solve challenging patient cases, contribute to the world’s largest database of drug ratings – and enjoy a few laughs along the way. 

Interested in more? Check back any time and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for the latest and greatest in physician insights. 

Are you a physician or healthcare practitioner? 

Explore the many benefits of joining Sermo’s medical community and sign up for free today