French President Emmanuel Macron warned the dose was “quasi-ineffective” among those aged 65+ whereas German Chancellor Angela Merkel paused the rollout for those aged 65+ due to limited data.
A highly anticipated US study published last week reviewed the efficacy of the vaccine which slightly positively altered the efficacy.
But the report was immediately questioned by the US chief medical advisor Anthony Fauci for using old data – but still urged people to receive the vaccine.
A recent YouGov poll suggests the opposition to the AstraZeneca vaccine has had a knock-on effect on public trust and revealed how different countries now perceive the vaccine.
In France, those who said the AstraZeneca vaccine was unsafe rose 18 points from 43 percent to 61 percent.
Additionally, in Germany, it rose from 40 percent to 55 percent and in Spain it grew 25 percent to 52 percent.
According to the YouGov poll, these three major European countries have more citizens who distrust the AstraZeneca vaccine than trust it.
Some Europeans are now holding out for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines despite the EU’s continuing row with AstraZeneca over vaccine supply.
The rising distrust of the AstraZeneca vaccine can be attributed to the recent pause of its rollout over fears it causes fatal blood clots.
However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Medicine Agency urged countries to reverse their decisions after publishing research it was “safe and effective” to use.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is the main dose used in the UK with over 30 million people vaccinated using a combination of Pfizer and Moderna doses too.
AstraZeneca also wished to create the vaccine at cost and in a way to allow developing and poorer nations to have access to it.
The vaccine does not require extremely cold storage and is relatively cheap to manufacture.
It is also one of the main doses used for the WHO’s COVAX scheme which supplies poorer nations with a guaranteed supply of vaccine.
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But European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has caused a giant row among member-states and the UK after threatening to impose vaccine export bans on countries with high vaccination rates.
The Commission claims that AstraZeneca is not fulfilling its contractual obligations to supply Europe and is prioritising other groups.
But while vaccine hesitancy grows against the AZ jab, it was revealed millions of the doses lay unused in storage across Europe as some countries struggle to distribute them.
Insiders at AstraZeneca revealed the company would not consider repeating its at-cost model after seeing the profitability of rivals and the headaches they have endured.
The UK is reportedly in talks with Ireland to share doses with them once the UK’s vaccination programme has been completed.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also proposed sharing Dutch manufactured vaccines destined for the UK with the EU to quell any risk of a vaccine war escalating.