Europe’s Covid-19 Vaccination Success Faces Winter Test



Europe has pushed ahead of the U.S. in vaccinating its citizens and has experienced a summer of relatively subdued Covid-19 caseloads, hospitalizations and deaths, despite the spread of the Delta variant.

Deaths from Covid-19 in the European Union averaged around 525 over the seven days through Tuesday and around 140 in the U.K. In January, daily deaths peaked at 3,500 in the EU and around 1,200 in the U.K., according to national data compiled by the University of Oxford’s Our World in Data project.

Adjusted for population, EU deaths equate to around 1.2 per million a day, and U.K. deaths to 2.1 per million. That compares with 6.1 per million currently in the U.S.

The difference reflects wider vaccine coverage, especially of older and high-risk groups. The 27 countries of the EU have fully vaccinated 61% of the bloc’s 448 million population, compared with 55% in the U.S., according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its EU counterpart. Big EU nations picked up the vaccination pace after a slow start this year. France has fully vaccinated 67% of its population, Germany 63% and Italy 66%. The U.K., which left the EU in 2020, has fully vaccinated 66% of its residents.

Author(s): Jason Douglas in London, Erin Delmore in Berlin and Eric Sylvers in Milan

Publication Date: 22 Sept 2021

Publication Site: Wall Street Journal

Oxford Pauses Dosing in Trial of AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine in Children, Teenagers



The University of Oxford said it has paused administering doses of the Covid-19 vaccine it developed with AstraZeneca PLC in a small U.K. study to test the shot in children and teenagers, pending further information about rare blood-clotting issues in adults who have received it.

The Oxford-led pediatric trial started in mid-February and is aimed at testing the vaccine in more than 200 young people aged 6 to 17 years. An Oxford spokesman said Tuesday that no safety issues have arisen in the trial itself, but broader concerns about rare clotting problems in adults have triggered further regulatory reviews in the U.K. and Europe to investigate any potential link with the vaccine.

Oxford is waiting for more information from the U.K.’s drugs watchdog, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, before giving any further vaccinations to children or teenagers in the pediatric trial, the spokesman said.

The pause is the latest setback for the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot, which has faced questions about its efficacy and potential side effects even as tens of millions of doses have been administered following safety signoffs in more than 70 countries.

Author(s): Jenny Strasburg, Eric Sylvers

Publication Date: 6 April 2021

Publication Site: Wall Street Journal