Five post-vaccination thrombosis cases in Greece (especially the death of a woman that was deemed the result of a side effect) aggravated existing anxieties about vaccines and their side effects.
The government in opening up appointments for the AstraZeneca vaccine for all citizens aged 30 or above made a choice.
It aligned itself with the scientists who say that “the best vaccine is the quickest vaccine”.
It reviewed the data from foreign countries that indicated that thromboses are rare and it weighed the negatives and positives at a time that there was not a sufficient supply of mRNA vaccines and the pandemic was not receding.
There were voices, including members of the scientific community, which disagreed with this choice.
They, along with the five post-vaccination thrombosis cases in Greece (especially the death of a woman where it was deemed the result of a side effect) aggravated existing anxieties about vaccines and their side effects.
This fear could lead to slowing down the pace of appointments in the vaccine rollout. That is the last thing the country needs as it braces for a summer that will determine the course of both the epidemic in Greece and the economic outlook for the year ahead.
At this point, vaccine-related thromboses are not only a medical issue but also a matter concerning communications.
The global scientific community has maintained and confirmed, especially in the case of the UK, the view that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine far exceed the drawbacks.
The challenge for both the government and Greek scientists is to transmit this data to citizens in a crystal clear manner and with a categorical position on thromboses – without back-pedaling or murky points.
Only frank explanations can defeat fear.