Clinical microbiologist Michael Borg, who heads Mater Dei’s Department of Infection Control, has allayed fears surrounding the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and its alleged link to blood clots.
Interviewed on ONE TV’s Pjazza last night, Borg noted that there have been around 30 reports of thromboembolic events in Europe after around 5 million people were vaccinated.
As around one in every 1,000 people gets thrombosis every year, one would estimate that around 100 out of the 5 million people who got vaccinated in Europe so far would have got it, irrespective of the vaccine.
“There’s no evidence that the two events [thrombosis and the vaccine] are associated. Just because they take place at the same time doesn’t mean the vaccine is causing thrombosis.”
“If you’re washing your car and a pigeon flies over and leaves its droppings on it, it doesn’t mean the pigeon was waiting for you to wash your car. It was a coincidence.”
Several European countries, including Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and Ireland, have suspended the AstraZeneca vaccine in recent days pending an assessment by the European Medicines Agency.
However, other countries, including Malta, have kept on administering people with the vaccine.
Borg noted that the EMA, the WHO and the International Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis have all said countries should continue using the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“We’re following the science,” he said. “With regards to what other countries are doing, I’d better not comment.”
He warned that suspending the vaccine on the basis of non-scientific evidence will ultimately result in thousands of people losing their chance to get vaccinated soon.
“Unfortunately, we’re witnessing deaths, not as a result of thrombosis among people getting vaccinated but as a result of people getting infected with COVID-19. Don’t be scared, get vaccinated, because it can save your lives particularly if you form part of the cohort [60-70 year olds] we’re currently inviting.”