Italy launches manslaughter probe into death of teacher, 57, who died a day after being given AstraZeneca vaccine as country re-enters lockdown and EU turns its back on the jab
- Italian prosecutors have opened a manslaughter probe into the death of music teacher Sandro Tognatti, 57
- Mr Tognatti died Sunday after getting an AstraZeneca vaccine, though cause of death has not been given
- Probe launched as Italy, France and Germany became latest EU nations to suspend use of AstraZeneca’s jab
- That is despite Covid cases rising with leaders facing prospect of more lockdowns due to low vaccine rates
- Italy reimposed measures today, German doctors called for tough approach and hospitals in Paris overflowed
PUBLISHED: 15:26 GMT, 15 March 2021 | UPDATED: 20:12 GMT, 15 March 2021
Italian prosecutors have opened a manslaughter investigation today after a music teacher died on Sunday – a day after receiving AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine.
The judiciary in Biella, in northern Italy, opened a preliminary probe into the death of 57-year-old Sandro Tognatti, whose cause of death remains unknown. They stressed that there is no link to AstraZeneca’s vaccine at this stage and the probe is intended to establish whether anyone has a case to answer.
It came as Italians woke up to fresh lockdown restrictions today, with 13 of the country’s 21 regions now in a ‘red zone’ meaning schools, restaurants, shops and museums have to close, and people cannot leave their homes except for work, health or other essential reasons.
Italy also temporarily banned the use of all AstraZeneca vaccines amid fears it causes blood clots, with France and Germany also enacting bans and saying they are waiting for European regulators to give guidance.
The European Medicines Agency said last week that there is no reason to halt use of the jab and that ‘the benefits outweigh the risks of side effects’, but its investigation is continuing and another report is due Thursday.
It comes after Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Bulgaria also suspended the jabs. Austria, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have impounded one batch of vaccines thought to be linked to clots.
It is just the latest episode in a long-running saga between EU countries and drug-maker AstraZeneca over its vaccine, which has seen ministers accuse the company of nationalism, impose export bans on its jabs, wrongly claim it is not effective in over-65s and reopen old wounds with recently-departed Brexit Britain.
Now Ireland suspends AstraZeneca jab over blood clot fears
AFP -March 14, 2021 8:21 PM
DUBLIN: Ireland suspended the use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine today, following reports of blood clots in adults who received the shot in Norway.
“The administration of Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca is temporarily deferred from this morning, Sunday 14th March,” a health ministry spokesman told AFP.
The move came after Ireland’s National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) recommended suspending the AstraZeneca rollout “on the precautionary principal” after “a report from the Norwegian Medicines Agency of four new reports of serious blood clotting events in adults after vaccination”.
“It has not been concluded that there is any link” between the AstraZeneca vaccine and the blood clot cases and action has been taken “pending receipt of further information”, Ireland’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Ronan Glynn said in a statement.
The NIAC is due to meet on Sunday morning and to issue a further statement on the matter.
Some 570,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered in Ireland to date, according to government data last updated Wednesday.
A total of 109,000 of those doses have been manufactured by the Anglo-Swedish pharma giant AstraZeneca.
An AstraZeneca spokesman said the “an analysis of our safety data that covers reported cases from more than 17 million doses of vaccine administered has shown no evidence of an increased risk” in blood clot conditions.
“In fact, the reported numbers of these types of events for Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca are lower than the number that would have occurred naturally in the unvaccinated population,” a statement added.