AstraZeneca vaccinations resume in Europe, but skepticism may linger

After a week-long suspension, European governments are hoping they can rebuild trust in the vaccine, which remains a key element of the E.U.’s inoculation strategy. French Prime Minister Jean Castex, 55, was among the first in the country to get the shot Friday afternoon, in what he said was a show of “complete confidence.” AstraZeneca vaccinations also resumed in Italy, Germany and several smaller countries.

But for many Europeans, the stoppage amplified doubts about a vaccine that has already faced months of contention related to its clinical trials and rollout.

“The anxiety and fear are great,” said Donatella Di Carlo, 49, a primary school teacher, who was among the thousands of people in Rome with an appointment Friday for the AstraZeneca jab. Di Carlo said she only decided to accept it because the risks of the virus — at a time when variants were spreading across the country — felt higher than those posed by the vaccine…

According to a poll by the Elabe Institute published this week, almost 60 percent of the French said they do not trust the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, compared with 25 percent who said the same about the BioNTech-Pfizer shot.