19 votes

AstraZeneca NL factory is not producing any vaccines. People are trying to figure out why.

@Dave Keating:
Some astonishing new revelations here.The #AstraZeneca facility in Netherlands isn't producing any vaccines for EU because AZ hasn't submitted paperwork to start.With the UK contract blocking export from the 2 UK sites, EU is getting supply from only 1 of the 4 sites promised https://t.co/9UboEcdold

10 comments

  1. [10]
    Adys
    Link
    Sorry for the editorializing and the twitter thread link, I couldn't find a good quality article that wasn't paywalled. This is the best one from the Financial Times. To summarize: One of...

    Sorry for the editorializing and the twitter thread link, I couldn't find a good quality article that wasn't paywalled. This is the best one from the Financial Times.

    To summarize: One of AstraZeneca's factories has not submitted any paperwork for approval to distribute their vaccine. AZ signed its contract with the EU over six months ago.

    There is clear negligence on AZ's side, but also probably pretty severe policy failure and enforcement failure on the EU side. I am holding off judgement until the story develops further, but I seriously hope we see some consequences for those responsible. AZ has been one of the main drivers behind the EU's failed vaccination campaign and if it comes down to this kind of willful negligence or even sabotage, we're approaching crimes against humanity territory.

    6 votes
    1. [6]
      stu2b50
      Link Parent
      This whole AZ thing is such a mess. Honestly no idea what to think at this point, about multiple issues. The supply issues, the "blood clot" issue (for which, I mean, the entire nation of the UK...

      This whole AZ thing is such a mess. Honestly no idea what to think at this point, about multiple issues. The supply issues, the "blood clot" issue (for which, I mean, the entire nation of the UK is a guinea pig for the vaccine, and it seems like you'd see any issues by now; on the other side, multiple countries have paused its usage, surely that can't just be politics), and hot damn, the discourse on this is incredibly toxic. I suppose Brexit combined with all the FUD is just causing a UK vs EU war on the internet.

      6 votes
      1. [5]
        DanBC
        Link Parent
        The blood clot thing is absolutely a non-story. If you look at 200 million people you're going to see blood clots, and we don't see any increase in people, of any age, who've been vaccinated. The...

        The blood clot thing is absolutely a non-story. If you look at 200 million people you're going to see blood clots, and we don't see any increase in people, of any age, who've been vaccinated.

        The consequences of not vaccinating people are well known.

        6 votes
        1. [2]
          stu2b50
          Link Parent
          It would seem insane that short term effects like that could occur and you'd not see a statistically significant increase in the UK, where millions have received the AZ vaccine by now. Forget the...

          It would seem insane that short term effects like that could occur and you'd not see a statistically significant increase in the UK, where millions have received the AZ vaccine by now. Forget the fact that it passed Phase 1 Safety trials ages ago.

          Idk, the blood clots make no sense, but Italy, Netherlands, Ireland, Norway, and now Germany and France have temporarily halted usage of the AZ vaccine because of it. Have they just gone mad?

          What is happening?

          11 votes
          1. Adys
            Link Parent
            I know, right? At least this is one case where Belgium isn't being insane and is clearly saying: there are no statistical anomalies, and even if there were, at this point the benefits outweigh the...

            I know, right? At least this is one case where Belgium isn't being insane and is clearly saying: there are no statistical anomalies, and even if there were, at this point the benefits outweigh the risks.

            3 votes
        2. [2]
          Thra11
          Link Parent
          It should have been a non-story. However, by pausing vaccinations, unfortunately they're stoking fear in the minds of the 'vaccine hesitant'. On the one hand, it is good to be cautious, but...

          It should have been a non-story. However, by pausing vaccinations, unfortunately they're stoking fear in the minds of the 'vaccine hesitant'. On the one hand, it is good to be cautious, but resuming vaccinations and announcing that the vaccine doesn't cause demonstrably higher levels of blood clots than in the general population won't get you back to the level of confidence you had in the first place, so there is an extra cost to excessive caution in addition to lost time.

          It's a little disappointing that the EMA's statement chooses to highlight this passage:

          the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing COVID-19, with its associated risk of hospitalisation and death, outweigh the risks of side effects.

          rather than this one:

          The number of thromboembolic events overall in vaccinated people seems not to be higher than that seen in the general population.

          To many people, the first statement reads as, "there's a small risk you'll die of a blood clot, but we've decided it's worth that risk", whereas the second reads as, "We've not found any evidence that the vaccine causes blood clots".

          9 votes
          1. vektor
            Link Parent
            I'm not so sure. The reporting seems to focus around a cluster of really weird cases of thromboembolism. Weird and lethal. Multiple european agencies report unusual case numbers for a very rare...

            I'm not so sure. The reporting seems to focus around a cluster of really weird cases of thromboembolism. Weird and lethal. Multiple european agencies report unusual case numbers for a very rare form of thromboembolism. I'm no doctor, but

            The woman had a low number of blood platelets and clots in small and large vessels,

            and

            Bei der Analyse des neuen Datenstands sehen die Expertinnen und Experten des Paul-Ehrlich-Instituts jetzt eine auffällige Häufung einer speziellen Form von sehr seltenen Hirnvenenthrombosen (Sinusvenenthrombosen) in Verbindung mit einem Mangel an Blutplättchen (Thrombozytopenie) und Blutungen in zeitlicher Nähe zu Impfungen mit dem COVID-19-Impfstoff AstraZeneca.

            When analysing the new data, experts of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute saw a noticable cluster (or increase) of a specific form of very rare brain vein thrombotic events in connection with a lack of platelets and bleeding in temporal proximity to AZ vaccinations.

            That doesn't sound like "there's nothing there" but more like "what is there is very profoundly weird, and definitely not normal, but it is rare enough that it doesn't fudge the numbers of thromboembolic events overall.

            Apparently, we're dealing with a subform of thromboembolic event here, and the statement you would like to see highlighted in the EMA statement is actually at least as misleading, because it suggests (as you say) that there's no evidence. The way the first statement reads to you seems like a more accurate read of the situation.

            10 votes
    2. [3]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      They haven’t applied for approval of their vaccine yet in the US, and there seems to be an assumption that it’s because they’ve been told the application wouldn’t be accepted. Possibly something...

      They haven’t applied for approval of their vaccine yet in the US, and there seems to be an assumption that it’s because they’ve been told the application wouldn’t be accepted.

      Possibly something like that might be happening for this factory? I have no idea. Without any reports of what’s really going on, we can only speculate.

      You’re saying “clear negligence” and “willful negligence” and I don’t think there is that level of proof yet?

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        Adys
        Link Parent
        That doesn't really make sense given that they're already manufacturing and distributing vaccines elsewhere in the EU. And EU officials seem to be saying that all that's missing is the paperwork...

        there seems to be an assumption that it’s because they’ve been told the application wouldn’t be accepted.

        That doesn't really make sense given that they're already manufacturing and distributing vaccines elsewhere in the EU. And EU officials seem to be saying that all that's missing is the paperwork and they'll be fast-tracked.

        1 vote
        1. skybrian
          Link Parent
          Well, hopefully we'll see more reporting that will clear things up.

          Well, hopefully we'll see more reporting that will clear things up.

          1 vote