AstraZeneca Clot Worries Scare Many Greeks Off COVID-19 Vaccine

Αssociated Press

Spiridon Papadopoulos receives the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a new vaccination mega center in Athens, Friday, April 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

ATHENS - Losing trust over reports of rare blood clots and mixed messages about the safety of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, some Greeks are canceling or not showing up for their appointments to be inoculated.The European Union drug regulator said Wednesday there is a link between AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine and very rare blood clots in the brain but almost immediately a 63-year-old woman in Greece reportedly suffered one after a shot.

Some 364,000 people in Greece had received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine by April 5 but two are required almost three months apart and about  605,000 of the next 2,450,000 vaccinations are to be with that dose.

Vaccine clinics are reporting that no-shows are 3 percent higher for AstraZeneca vaccinations compared to the Pfizer and Moderna version which are taken three and four weeks apart.

Cancellation rates are also up three percent for AstraZeneca, three times higher than for Pfizer and Moderna, said Kathimerini in a report on the growing worry that Greek and EU health officials are trying to assuage.

“We administered 60 vaccinations per day when we started,” Alexia Grigoropoulou, a senior health official at the Zacharo vaccination center in the Peloponnese told the paper. “Now we are down to 40 or 30 per day,” she said of the dilemma.