We have all seen the news of the suspension of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine to all under 30’s in the UK.

What effect will this have on the population as a whole and not just the under 30’s in taking the vacations moving forward? Will more people decide against taking it? How will this impact the control of the covid-19 spreading?

The risk of such outcomes will almost certainly be far outweighed by the risks of covid-19. In the European WHO region alone, around 20,000 people die from covid-19 during March 2021. For controlling the pandemic globally, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has some strong attributes: it is easier to store and thus to reach populations in countries without the funding and infrastructure for ultra-cold storage. It is also lower-priced, and real world data from Scotland estimate it has reduced the risk of hospitalisation by 94%.

Will there be long-standing effects of the government’s decision to halt the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine?

People’s willingness to have a vaccine will be influenced by its perceived safety. That is why vaccine programme suspensions, even if temporary, have long lasting effects on public confidence.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine suspensions’ impact on confidence is compounded by existing issues with efficacy and supply problems around Europe, not just the UK. How will this impact the already depleted aviation industry?

What is clear, is that the UK & European countries cannot afford to have high levels of vaccine refusal if we are to gain control over the covid-19 pandemic. The decisions that occur now and moving forward will be pivotal in answering the questions I have posed.