Watch: French doctor’s angry video over AstraZeneca vaccine refusals
The GP’s video showed him throwing away a half-used vial of the vaccine, which he later said was ‘a major medical weapon’ against the virus
Dr Vogt said: “I have in my hand...one of the most effective medical tools we have against the virus; [but]...I am now forced to throw it out." Pic: Patrick VOGT / @vogt_patrick / Twitter
A French doctor has published a video online expressing anger over the waste of AstraZeneca vaccines in France, due to people refusing the jab. He also said refusals would make the pandemic last longer.
GP Dr Patrick Vogt, from Mulhouse in Haut-Rhin, this week said: “Since Monday - and it is now now Wednesday - I have managed to give six doses of the vaccine. All the other people refused it.”
Holding a half-used vial of the vaccine, he said: “So I have in my hand, without doubt, one of the most effective medical tools we have against the virus; [but] this vaccine is now ruined, I will be forced to throw it out.
“Right in the middle of a pandemic, I will therefore put vaccines in the bin, because no one else wants it. There we go.”
Dr Vogt then films himself dropping the half-used vial into a medical bin.
In a tweet, he wrote: “Due to misinformation and [people] backing out, the major medical weapon that this vaccine represents is seen as a danger. It's mad, isn't it?”
#AstraZenaca #VaccinationCovid— Patrick VOGT (@vogt_patrick) April 21, 2021
En pleine pandémie je suis obligé de jeter du vaccin Astra à la poubelle car plus personne n'en veut. De désinformation en reculade, l'arme thérapeutique majeure que représente ce vaccin est perçu comme un danger. C'est fou, non ? pic.twitter.com/ZLk3k1pWat
The GP spoke to BFMTV in the wake of the video which caused a sensation online.
When asked if it was somewhat predictable that people would develop an aversion to the AstraZeneca vaccine given the negative press it has received in recent weeks, Dr Vogt said: “It was perhaps predictable.
“But I never thought that I would do this, in the middle of a pandemic; throw away doses of vaccine. It’s unbelievable.
“It’s true that people may have doubts, but to have such a big rejection of it, without there being a real and serious argument behind it...there is a risk, but it is absolutely tiny compared to the reality of Covid.
“We have seen the fallout from Covid in Mulhouse and the Haut-Rhin, almost 30,000 dead, hundreds of people in intensive care. And what [with the vaccine], we are risking, maybe 3-4 cases of thrombosis, one death?
“I think people need to stop getting tied up with emotions, and consider seriously and scientifically - we have significant and pertinent tools against Covid, and we must absolutely use them. This is a major tool.”
‘Refusing the vaccine now will extend the pandemic’
Dr Vogt said he understood that people were afraid and didn’t want to take the risk, and that he wouldn’t force anyone to be vaccinated.
He said: “I hear what they’re saying, and of course I’m not going to vaccinate people who don’t want it.
“But I must say that in reality, we have to go back to prioritising all vaccination, because the problem is going to be exactly the same with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which will also cause several cases of thromboses.
“And I remind you that we haven’t figured out the vaccination strategy for young people during the months of May, June, July for this vaccine. So we have to have a Plan B [and use all vaccines].
“I’m seeing that we’re opening vaccinodromes everywhere, we’re training firefighters to be able to give vaccines quickly, but [to rely on this alone] would mean that we would need to [be able to] vaccinate the majority of the population in vaccinodromes, with mRNA vaccines [such as Moderna and Pfizer], with appointments…
“We’re not there yet, and I don’t think we will be until March next year. [If we rely on that], we’ll have a fourth wave in September, another lockdown in September, another rentrée ruined for college and lycee students.
“All we’d be doing is delaying it. People must understand that refusing the vaccine now will mean extending the pandemic for yet more months and months.”
The AstraZeneca vaccine - similarly to the other vaccines available - must be used within six hours of the vial being opened. Each vial contains around five or six doses.
EMA: ‘Benefits of vaccine outweigh risk of side-effects’
Vaccines that use viral vector technology - such as AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen - have been linked to very rare cases of thrombosis and thrombocytopenia in recent weeks.
In a review published on April 7, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said its safety committee, Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC), had “concluded that unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be listed as very rare side effects of Vaxzevria (formerly COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca)”.
It said: “The Committee carried out an in-depth review of 62 cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis and 24 cases of splanchnic vein thrombosis reported in the EU drug safety database (EudraVigilance) as of 22 March 2021, 18 of which were fatal.
“The cases came mainly from spontaneous reporting systems of the EEA and the UK, where around 25 million people had received the vaccine.”
This means there were 86 problematic cases - and 18 deaths - across the EEA and UK, after more than 25 million vaccinations. This puts the risk of issues at 0.00034%.
This is compared to a risk of 16.5% among Covid patients, the EMA said.
The EMA also said: “Covid-19 is associated with a risk of hospitalisation and death.
“The reported combination of blood clots and low blood platelets is very rare, and the overall benefits of the vaccine in preventing Covid-19 outweigh the risks of side effects.”
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