European nations struggling with safety issues surrounding the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine are now facing a third wave of the pandemic. Paris and other parts of France will start a month-long lockdown on Friday while cases are surging in Germany. In Italy, more than half the country has been under red-zone restrictions, which limit movement to the bare necessities, for nearly a week. The surge comes as countries struggle with vaccine supplies after AstraZeneca deliveries fell far short of what was promised, followed by concerns that the British-Swedish vaccine caused blood-clotting. Germany Health Minister Jens Spahn said Friday that there simply is not enough vaccine on the European continent to stave off a third wave. “The rising case numbers may mean that we cannot take further opening steps in the weeks to come,” he said. “On the contrary, we may even have to take steps backwards.”
Complicating the rollout further are inconsistencies across the EU. France has mandated that AstraZeneca can only be used on those over 55, while Spain will only use it on those under age 55.