AstraZeneca Drama

I am a very punctual woman, annoyingly punctual, somebody would say. I don’t like to wait, so I don’t make people wait. It comes natural to me. I was born punctual.  So, it was pretty normal for me – but  not for my  husband  –  to arrive at least half an hour before the scheduled appointment to be vaccinated at 4:30 p.m. just yesterday . Actually, I arrived even much before than planned, because there weren’t many people sticking around, due to lockdown. It was 3:45 p.m., when we reached  Fiumicino Covid hub.  There was  just one person queuing before me.” How strange”, I thought. 🤔 When it was my turn a man of the Red Cross scrolled with his finger on the list till he found my name: “Ah, yes , Mrs Tink“. He looked  up and said: “ You are very fortunate. There were a lot of people just an hour ago. It won’t take you long”.🙃 “What a stroke of luck”, I replied. 😜 I hate queuing as much as I hate been kept waiting. Then I started to follow the trail, documents in hand, which took me to the doctor for the anamnesis first, then to another doctor for the jab and then to the final destination, a common space where I was supposed to wait 15 minutes for observation. When I got to that spot, it was 4:10.”Wow, what a wonderful organization” , I thought.🙃 In order to kill time, I soon grabbed my smartphone and I saw that the school chat was jammed with a lot messages, which actually were comments on the following article 😳😳😳:

 “the use of vaccine Astra Zeneca has just been suspended in Germany, France, Spain and Italy  as a precaution, while checks are made into whether there is a link between the shot and an increased risk of blood clots.”


Just ?” “Just, when?”😨 It appears that “just” was 4:00p.m.😰 , that meant  I was very likely the last person to be vaccinated in Italy with AstraZeneca!! 😱That is why there was actually no queue, when I arrived. Everybody knew but me! 😫The most difficult part was  telling it to my husband, as the frustrating thing is that whenever he is right, I find myself reviewing the Conditional sentences, which I hate😤 :”Hadn’t we moved so soon, you would have had the time to be informed” (3rd type),😡  “If we went to the doctor straight away, we could still find him (2nd type) and ask, if you could get any Cardioaspirin to avoid clots (mixed type). 🤔” You have to know that if you get sick , I won’t take you to the hospital near home, I’ve never trusted them”!😠(1st type) How vexing! 😩I let to your imagination, which level of anxiety he reached the hours that followed. Just to give you an example, in the middle of the night😴 I found my husband awake, while he was delicately perusing, if I was still alive.

But here I am. 😜Apparently I had no side effects, not even the most common ones, till now, at least. The point is that it is absurd to suspend vaccinations in such a way, thus giving rise to general panic. Of course, we must know if there a link between AstraZeneca and the risk of blood shots, but without fueling a general climate of mistrust towards vaccines in general and Astra Zeneca in particular. Once you spread doubt, it is very difficult to uproot it. Let’s hope this won’t be not the case.


23 thoughts on “AstraZeneca Drama

  1. It’s being used as normal here. There seem to have been a very small number of cases of people developing blood clots after being vaccinated, but there’ll always be a very small number of cases of people developing blood clots anyway, just randomly. But all this really is annoying. People are already having doubts after unfounded claims were made that it wasn’t safe for older people. And I’m always early for everything, because I’m always convinced that some incredibly unlikely series of events will happen and mean that, if I leave on time, I will be late!

    • Today 502 died and we are getting used to it, while the 0,006% in millions of people vaccinated impresses us more. Of course, had I known it 15 minutes before I would have 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️

      • One of my friends said she felt sick afterwards. Other people have reported sore arms and headaches. Nothing lasting more than a day. I haven’t had mine yet – I’m in “Group 10” and they’re on “Group 9” at the moment, so hopefully not much longer – but I certainly haven’t heard anything bad. My mum usually feels ill after the flu vaccine, but she was fine after the Covid vaccine.

      • I think that there is something in the human psyche that regards falling ill as something like a visitation of the gods. If it happens then it happens. But getting vaccinated is a deliberate choice on our part to take a risk, albeit a tiny one.
        And I have a different relationship to this risk. One of these is that my wife is a doctor who spends a part of each week supervising a vaccination clinic and part of each week trying to persuade people to get vaccinated which is exhausting work. On one side she has the anxiety of her patients while on the other she has pressure from politicians. I know from your blog that you know from your experience in education what it feels like to be the meat in that sandwich! And the other is that we are close to one of the senior scientists at Oxford University who developed the Astra Zenica vaccination. He worked with my wife some years ago when they were both junior doctors and my wife introduced him to his own wife. She was an old school friend of my wife and a bridesmaid at our wedding and our daughter stayed with them as a student in Oxford. I have never had this experience of being a friend of someone who is so much in the news before. It has a way of taking my attention away from all the other anxious people and giving it to someone whose life and work is under so much public scrutiny right now. By the way, before he worked on this project he had given most of his career to developing an HIV vaccination working in projects for the developing world which is why he was so determined to develop a vaccine that could be stored in an ordinary fridge and sold at a low price.

  2. So that’s why there was no one else there!
    It’s our turn next Monday. And yes, it’s the Astra-Zeneca. We’re waiting to see what WHO says then maybe cancel, or not.
    And so what is Mr T going to do now?

  3. What? No mutual-vaccination pact? Or, is he ineligible?

    We’re getting the second Moderna shot next week. Most of the people we know who’ve had the shots had little to no reactions. Some run a fever for one day. We haven’t heard a peep from the ones who died.

    • But , I fear Jack, that if we don’t achieve the the herd immunity, it will take years to be something like normal again. A lot of people will die, lose their jobs and dignity with the consequences history has taught us.

    • I underttand your point and I let you imagine my fear the couple of hours after my shot ,when I read theat AstraZeneca vaccination had been halted. But how long do you want to stay locked in? What kind of life is this? I start to be wearied of all this, and for the time being I see no other solution than vaccines. 😘😘🙋🏼

      • Yes my lovely friend, you are right and I find it a catastrophe! You know, when the revolution won in Iran those days, and Khomeini made an election to say yes to the Islamic regime, my brother Al and I didn’t take part in this election, therefore, we had no stamps in our ID. And that’s why, we couldn’t find a job or be in any insurance, etc. We’re not alive for the regime. I can expect that from Khomeini’s regime but not in free Europe! I am not afraid of any kind of virus, as I never take any vaccine against anything else. I can only hope that I have a free choice to make a decision. Take care my lovely teacher ❤😘✌💖

  4. I read the small print regarding these scientific papers (though not the papers themselves, the technical stuff is beyond me) in preference to scare stories on social media and, if I hadn’t already had my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, would still have been happy to have the Astro Zenica or the Moderna jab if they were on offer instead. The silly hysteria in some European countries and elsewhere over AZ is manufactured; as for naysayers where vaccination is concerned I’m afraid I have no time for them, for antivaxxer lies, for anti-maskers and for those who don’t social distance: I’d rather listen to someone who’d studied epidemiology than someone who read something sensationally stupid on a Facebook post.

  5. I’ve actually been vaccinated three times.

    I was in the Phase 1 Moderna trials last April and May where I received a two vaccinations with a lower dose than what was eventually rolled out to the public. Then recently I received a booster shot of Moderna as a part of another trial testing booster shots.

    Clearly some people will have negative reactions that go beyond the usual and expected side effects to a vaccine. But the number of adverse reactions to the COVID vaccines has been really low and the effectiveness of the vaccines have been high. If I were to guess, I would say the Astra-Zeneca problems might be real but affect relatively few people. So the odds should be ever in your favor.

  6. Here’s a good article on the issues with Astra-Zeneca.

    The author basely thinks the rollout of the vaccine has been bad but the attributed side effects are not likely occurring at any greater rate in the vaccinated group than in an unvaccinated one. When millions of people are vaccinated, all kinds of things – including death – are going to happen to some of them but that would also be true of a group of millions of unvaccinated people. The vaccine does appear to have a relatively low efficacy rate compared to the other vaccines but it is better than nothing.

    • Very interesting and informative article. Thank you James. The clouds of fear have disappeared now and I have had no side effects at all, not even one. I am convinced that vaccines are our only chance for the time being, before a cure will be found. 🙋🏼

  7. I read with sadness and disgust what amounts to a remarkable lack of consideration for the welfare of others rooted in misguided self-interest and the presumption that their obstinance somehow makes them both heroes and martyrs.

    Personally, I have no concern (or regard) for them, but I hope their selfish actions won’t kill others, and especially others who, for health reasons, cannot be vaccinated and will remain vulnerable. Not that they would care, of course, because by definition, selfish people don’t care about anyone but themselves.

    I consider anti-vaxxers — be they driven by ignorance or willful stupidity — an impediment to the advancement of humanity, but it’s their callousness that grates on me most, and thus — for me — erases whatever worth they might have had as humans. That might sound harsh, but I’m actually holding back because this, after all, is not my blog.

    Let’s hope that there are not so many such bad examples of humanity’s worst traits as to hamper achieving herd immunity so that, through no contribution on their part, they too will be safe. I kid, of course, about hoping for their safety.

  8. Having AstraZeneca Vaccine is better than having Covid.
    I can totally relate to your story. Here in Germany, we have the same.
    Me & my husband got vaccinated last Friday and I didn´t have any reaction to it. My husband had a light Fever but that´s it.
    The real horror story lies on the waiting , worrying and overthinking because of the news and “hearsay”.But of course it´s human nature.
    Before I was so skeptical about it, thinking that I should wait until I would be vaccinated with Biontech.But when the state offered this for all the residents here in Bavaria, we immediately wanted to grab the chance.It´s better safe than sorry.
    Compared last year that we don´t have any hope at all and no cure, vaccine is now available and only our last hope to stop this pandemic.
    It´s great to read this knowing I am not alone in vaccine dilemma.

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