Apr 27, 2021
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Oxford vaccine disaster

Oxford vaccine disaster

Perhaps those experts were right who argued that it takes at least three years to create a truly proven and effective coronavirus vaccine.

But there was no time for long-term testing. And here a product created in the laboratories of Oxford, which received unlimited financial support from the government, immediately became the leader. At the end of April last year, British microbiologists began injecting their own vaccine, being the first in Europe to begin trials on the human body.

And now the reporters of “Der Spiegel” tried to figure out why today European countries began to refuse the Oxford vaccine, one after another, and in scientific circles, a difficult debate began about what age people can be vaccinated. Der Spiegel writes about the disaster with the spread of this vaccine.

Scientists from Oxford began to save the world under the leadership of Sarah Gilbert, one of the best vaccine specialists. She immediately announced to colleagues that a vaccine against coronavirus could be developed in a short time. The British used a genetically modified adenovirus that causes colds in chimpanzees. At first, they wanted to take the powerful American pharmaceutical company Merck as a partner for its production, but there was a fear that Donald Trump would leave the vaccine produced by it in America.

In April 2020, the choice fell on the Anglo-Swedish “AstraZeneca”, which is headed by the ambitious Frenchman Pascal Sorio. The only problem was that this pharmaceutical giant had no experience in developing vaccines, which are much more difficult to manufacture than conventional drugs.

Sorio announced that he would sell the vaccine for $ 2-5 worldwide, but provide the British with it first. Apparently, Sorio and his advisers in their quest to capture the market did not fully realize the complexity of this task. The rosy news from Oxford was also misleading. Gilbert promised to start using the vaccine late last summer.

In Europe, AstraZeneca had at least four large factories. But from the very beginning there were disruptions: one of the enterprises in Belgium could not organize the production of the required volumes of vaccine, the other did not manage to rebuild its production lines in any way. Hundreds of ingredients are used in such vector vaccines, and even tiny deviations in its components send the product for disposal.

And in the spring of 2021, information appeared that the vaccine causes the formation of blood clots in the vessels of the brain. Most often this happened to young women. Then in Germany it was decided to inject it only for people over 60 years old. But before that, the company, on the contrary, recommended its vaccine only to those under the age of 65. Der Spiegel writes about the chaos in determining for whom it is safer. The European Medical Agency was forced to admit that the vaccine was linked to thrombosis, which is very rare but deadly. People began to abandon it en masse. Norway and Denmark no longer use it. Vaccine trials in children have been stopped in the UK.

Vaccination programs in many countries around the world are under threat. And recently it was announced that the formation of blood clots in women aged 18 to 48 years is also caused by the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, which is also based on adenovirus, but the vaccination consists of one shot. In the United States, vaccination with it was suspended. South Africa and Australia have done the same. Thus, today the West is left with only two approved vaccines – from “Pfizer” and “Modern”, although a number of side complications were recorded during their use.

Nikolay Ivanov.

Photo: AdobeStock

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