Over the past week, we’ve seen a domino effect in Europe with country after country hitting pause on the administration of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine. The concern stems from a small number of cases of serious blood clotting, which have not been definitively linked to the vaccine and don’t appear to be more frequent than what’s seen in the general population.
On Thursday, the European Medicines Agency found the vaccine to be safe and effective and said that vaccinations can resume. But, there’s a risk that this whole stop-and-start vaccine rollout has done irreparable damage to public perception of AstraZeneca’s product, which, of course, could have serious repercussions for the effort to end the pandemic. To discuss this issue, STAT spoke with Alison Buttenheim, an associate professor of nursing and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, whose research focuses on vaccine acceptance. Please note that this interview took place before European Medicines Agency cleared the vaccine.