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Fears of Side Effects of AstraZeneca Vaccine Slow Economic Recovery

Although many medical and financial experts have predicted that countries around the world will recover at different rates from the Covid-19 Pandemic, fears are mounting that Europe will be at the tail-end of recovery because of side effects caused by the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Primarily used in Europe and countries in Asia and Africa, the AstraZeneca vaccine is one of many such vaccines designed to fight against Covid-19. After being pulled from use in several countries around the world, France, Italy, and Spain are the latest in Europe to stop the rollout of the vaccine.

These three countries are among a growing list of 16 nations around the world that are avoiding the AstraZeneca vaccine. The fear surrounding the vaccine is a result of reports that it can cause blood clots, despite the evidence from health organizations around the world and AstraZeneca themselves that it does not.

According to reports from the vaccine company, populations that have received the vaccine actually have lower rates of blood clots than those that have not received the vaccine.  

The fear of AstraZeneca comes at a bad time as Europe is facing heightened lockdown restrictions and increasing cases of Covid-19. Distrust of medicine, science, and vaccines meant to protect against Covid-19 will only worsen what could be considered one of Covid-19’s final resurgences around the globe.

In addition to worsening Covid-19 numbers, fears of AstraZeneca will harm economic recovery in Europe, and around the world at large. While experts predict massive growth rates of 6.5 percent and 7.8 for the United States and China, respectively, they also predict that countries in Europe that use the Euro will only grow by an average of 3.9 percent. 

As European countries reject the AstraZeneca virus, the gap in economic growth between Europe, China, and the United States will continue to grow. This is already evidenced by stock market shifts in Europe and the United States. Europe’s Stoxx 600 metric has stayed relatively flat, while the United States’ S&P 500 saw .7 percent growth on Monday to another record high.

Even further, American airline companies such as American Airlines, Delta, United, and JetBlu are expecting continuous growth through the spring and summer as vaccine rollouts help reduce the effects of lockdowns preventing the spread of Covid-19. The airlines all state that they have seen increasing bookings through spring, and expect the numbers to continue to increase as domestic travel returns to normal across the United States. Alone, American Airline’s stock jumped by 7.7 percent, Delta by more than two percent, and JetBlu by nearly six percent.

To combat the growing distrust of AstraZeneca and provide relief to European countries struggling to stem the tide of Covid-19 infections, American company Pfizer intends to send an additional 10 million doses of their vaccine to Europe. Pfizer’s vaccine has a much better reputation than the AstraZeneca vaccine, meaning that European nations may be more willing to accept and use Pfizer vaccines.

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