Italy launched a manslaughter investigation on Monday following the death of a music teacher on Sunday, a day after he received AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine. A number of European countries have been complaining that people have died or become seriously ill after receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
The investigation comes after one health worker died and three others became ill as a result of clots after receiving the vaccine, despite the fact that the EMA, the World Health Organization, and AstraZeneca claiming that the vaccine is safe. Italy has also suspended the use of all AstraZeneca vaccines due to concerns that they cause blood clots.
A New Angle
Italian prosecutors in Biella, in northern Italy, opened a preliminary probe into the death of Sandro Tognatti, 57, who died just a day after receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday. However, the cause of his death remains unknown.
The judiciary said that as of now there is no link to AstraZeneca's vaccine but the probe is intended to establish if anyone has a case to answer. Meanwhile, Italy has also temporarily banned the use of all AstraZeneca vaccines amid fears that it is resulting in blood clots.
Not only Italy, a number of European countries like Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and Bulgaria have all suspended the AstraZeneca vaccine. France and Germany are also contemplating banning the AstraZeneca vaccination jab and are waiting for guidance from European regulators.
However, AstraZeneca has said that it had found no evidence of increased risk of blood clots from its COVID-19 vaccine after conducting a careful review of safety data of over 17 million inoculated people across the UK and European Union.
Naturally, the European countries banning the AstraZeneca vaccine is in a move to avoid life risk. The decision comes after one health worker died and three more got sick from clots shortly after taking the vaccine, though the European Medicines Authority, the World Health Organization and AstraZeneca insist that the vaccine is safe.
In Ireland, health officials said there had been a "small number of reports" of blood clots but none of them as serious as those described in Norway. Meanwhile, UK seems to be confident about the vaccine, with ministers saying that "all is well" after the tally of people with a first dose passed 24million.
The decision to ban the vaccine is the latest in a long-running saga between EU countries and drug-maker AstraZeneca over its vaccine, which has seen ministers accuse the company of nationalism, impose export bans on its jabs, wrongly claim it is not effective in over-65 year olds.
The probe into manslaughter in Italy comes came as the country woke up to fresh lockdown restrictions on Monday, with 13 of its 21 regions now in a 'red zone' which means schools, restaurants, shops and museums will remain closed, and people cannot leave their homes except for work, health or other essential reasons.
At the same time, coronavirus cases are also on the rise in other European countries. Doctors in Germany have warned that the country needs to "immediately" return to lockdown to avoid a "strong third wave." France is also planning to lock down Paris, where cases are escalating.