Vaccination services in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France reported that citizens refused nearly 1,500 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The citizens will be offered vaccinations again from this Tuesday. Now the mayor of Calais is calling for a “national campaign” to address people’s fears of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Natacha Bouchart, the mayor of Calais, speaking to French news site ’20 minutes’ said: “We really need a national campaign to explain that this vaccine has no more negative side effects than Pfizer or Moderna.”
According to French newspapers, Bleu Nord and La Voix du Nord, nearly 1,500 vaccine doses remained in fridges in centres this weekend.
Many hundreds of people were turning away when presented with the AstraZeneca inoculation.
On Saturday in Calais, 550 people refused the AstraZeneca inoculation, a further 670 turned it down in Gravelines, and 160 in Boulogne-sur-Mer.
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He added: “It is obvious that all the vaccines which have been validated by the European and French health authorities are good vaccines.”
However, his words have fallen on deaf ears as the majority of French citizens are still holding out for alternatives to the AstraZeneca jab.
Officials from vaccination centres have explained that “when 500 appointments are posted for the Pfizer vaccine, they go in 5 minutes”.
However, the officials then added, that “with AstraZeneca it takes a day and a half or even two days”.
There have been concerns over unconfirmed links between the AtsraZenca vaccine and blood clots.
One week ago a French woman, aged 38, died from blood clot 14 days after being inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
However, there has been no proven link between the death of the French woman and the AstraZeneca vaccine she received.
After the woman’s death French medicine regulator ANSM admitted that there was a fractional risk of blood clots forming after getting the vaccine, but this was a “very rare” occurrence.
The ANSM released a statement at the end of March that said: “The balance of risks to benefits of the vaccine is still positive.”
The French medicine regulator used data from March 12-18 which included 16 new onsets of thrombosis after taking the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The ANSM report said: “Nine cases were declared of blood clots in major veins, that were unusually located in the brain and digestive system and were associated with abnormally low platelets in the blood or coagulation difficulties.”
Two of the individuals who had blood clots died, including a 24-year-old medical student in Nantes.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.