Recently, AstraZeneca vaccine got some bad press for few cases of blood clouts as side effect leading some countries to even suspend its use for people younger than 56 (see here).
I am not a medical researcher, but I work in multidisciplinary research project with medical researchers on covid19, during dinner discussion a collogue of mine actually told me that this bad press was very misleading citing recent paper by Walach et al (2021) which shows, based on new data from Israel and the Netherlands that Astra-Zeneca has actually better safety record than Pfizer, see the data below.
The data show that per reports on vaccines administered Pfizer has 0.04% of serious side effects and 0.013% deaths, while Moderna has 0.017% of serious side effects and 0.0054% deaths, while AstraZeneca has only 0.0137% of serious side effects and only 0.001% deaths.
Taking the data in the table at face value it looks like AstraZeneca is the safest vaccine.
However, I am not sure how reliable the research above is. The research has an expression of concern attached to it but the expression of concern addresses just the interpretation of the data (the authors also claim that this safety record suggest vaccination of young people should be postponed - which seems clearly controversial but there is no mention of data being wrong and here I am not much interested in the interpretation of that paper for vaccination programs but rather only relative safety of AstraZeneca vs Phizer and Moderna).
In addition, this colleague of mine looks bit biased against the mRNA vaccines (both Phizer and Moderna are mRNA to my best knowledge while AstraZeneca is DNA based).
Also I googled the journal on Scimago and its Q2 journal so I assume that its a good or at least relatively good journal and not just some predatory journal.
However, as a scientist I know that one can never just judge one study in a vacuum without understanding how it fits the larger 'mosaic' of the body of published research.
Consequently, my question is as follows:
Is AstraZeneca safer (in terms of serious side effects and deaths) than Pfizer & Moderna? I of course understand that literature might not yet be fully settled but taking the current state of the literature is it likely that AstraZeneca is safer than Pfizer & Moderna, or is this likely spurious result or perhaps the paper has some serious flaws (e.g. is that dataset even reliable, even in paper they state there might be some misreporting going on)?