Pausing AstraZeneca Covid-19 Shots is a Bad Risk/Benefit Call

“The benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine…outweigh the risks of side effects.”

[Ed. Note: …and in this argument, the “risk” is “your life,” while the “benefit” is “pharmaceutical industry profits.” So… You know… Who do you think should make the decision? Clearly, not you.]

by Ronald Bailey

Last week Austria, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland all suspended the administration of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, citing reports of blood clots occurring in a few folks who had been inoculated with it. Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Thailand, and the Netherlands have now joined them.

“There is no causal effect established or anything like that yet,” Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin told CNBC, “but as a precautionary move in line with the precautionary principle and in an abundance of caution, our clinical advice was to pause the program whilst the EMA does a review of this.”

The precautionary principle is an ideological construct that eschews risk-benefit evaluations and essentially requires that all new technologies be somehow proved entirely risk-free before they can be used.

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