Prayer #389: For the Suspension of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine in the European Union
Out of caution, some countries in the European Union (EU) and beyond, including Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, Slovenia, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Bulgaria, and the Congo, in mid-March temporarily suspended the use of the COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca, also known as Vaxzevria, due to the fact that there have been rare blood clotting incidents in people that have received the vaccine. In the region of the European Economic Area, approximately 30 of these blood-clotting incidents, or thrombosis, have been reported, including one fatality in Denmark, after 5 million people were vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is produced by the Oxford Vaccine Group and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. In addition, there have been 79 reported cases of blood clotting in the United Kingdom following the first administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Most of the above countries have reinstated the use of the vaccine, with the understanding that the risk of dying of COVID-19 was much greater than from the vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccine has never been in use in the United States, though it is being used in Canada. AstraZeneca is manufactured in a similar way as the Johnson and Johnson COVID vaccine, which was recently paused in the United States, though with different adenovirus carriers. With both, there have been rare blood-clotting occurrences.
As vaccination continues around the world, pray for continued safety evaluations of the various vaccines in use. Presently, over a dozen different COVID-19 vaccines are in use in various locations around the world. Pray for those testing and evaluating these, and that they would have the wisdom to know when to recommend the suspension of the application of the vaccines as further studies are conducted. Given the urgent need for vaccination and the virulence and higher transmission rates of COVID-19, especially the newer variants, vs. possible safety concerns in some of the vaccines, this can require considerable wisdom and discernment. While we thank God, indeed, for the vaccines that are available around the globe, we want to continue to pray for vaccines that are as safe as possible for use.
Ps. 130:1: "Out of the depths I cry to Thee, O LORD! Lord, hear my voice! Let Thy ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!"