The AstraZeneca COVID vaccine is offline in parts of Europe after reports of blood clots after the vaccine. But experts think it's coincidence.
JAMES PACKARD: A vaccine center in Italy closed as the country joins a growing list of those stopping the AstraZeneca vaccine rollout, derailing the European campaign.
EMER COOKE: When you vaccinate millions of people, it's inevitable that you have rare or serious incidences of illnesses that occur after vaccination.
JAMES PACKARD: The European Medicines Agency saying it's investigating concerns of blood clotting, but stresses it doesn't actually know if reported cases are tied to the vaccine.
EMER COOKE: We are still firmly convinced that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh the risk of these side effects.
JAMES PACKARD: The shot still has the WHO's stamp of approval and has been rolled out across much of the world, including Europe, Asia, and Australia, where it's causing a fierce debate.
GREG HUNT: It will help save lives and protect lives.
MATT CANAVAN: I think it's clearly time for us to suspend the rollout here in Australia if every-- almost every European country is doing the same.
JAMES PACKARD: It's the latest black eye for the British company. A US trial stopped late last year as some participants got seriously sick. Regulators decided it was not tied to the vaccine. But now, AstraZeneca is still seeking FDA approval possibly in the coming weeks.
MARC VAN RANST: The damage is done. People who are vaccine-hesitant will not become less vaccine-hesitant when they watch this episode.
JAMES PACKARD: James Packard, Newsy, Chicago.