Coronavirus (1234) BMJ: How AstraZeneca lost the vaccine PR war

17 April, 2021

Extracts below from a news item in The BMJ.

CITATION: Covid-19: How AstraZeneca lost the vaccine PR war

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: (Published 14 April 2021)

AstraZeneca’s covid-19 vaccine has rarely been out of the news—and the headlines show no signs of abating. Jacqui Wise explains how miscommunication and politics created a nightmare for the company and the global vaccination effort

Hailed as a “vaccine for the world” with its low price and easy storage requirements, AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate has faced a string of setbacks in 2021 with questions over effectiveness, possible side effects, and long running disputes about supplies...

AstraZeneca’s latest crisis is possibly also its biggest so far. Its vaccine has been linked to thrombosis, as well as a rare type of blood clot in the brain called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), with a number of episodes in younger women...

What’s not helpful is how it’s been communicated. Whether from different regulators, government officials, academics, or the media, Hassan (Ines Hassan, University of Edinburgh] tells The BMJ, "It is clear that the mixed messaging from these different stakeholders has caused confusion among the general public, and it has already led to increased vaccine hesitancy in some parts of Europe among other regions."


Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator,