The EU is facing another vaccine crisis with confidence in jabs falling following the news that AstraZeneca's Vaxzevria vaccine could be linked to the onset of very rare blood clots.

In Spain, confidence in Vaxzevria has nosedived after the government changed its guidance on who can receive the vaccine. 

Earlier this week health officials approved its use for those between 60 and 69. Since then, Madrid residents have been reluctant to come forward, with only around 45 percent of those asked to confirm their appointments.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has been trying to reassure the Spanish public.

He said: "From a political point of view our decisions will always be absolutely based on scientific and technical criteria to guarantee firstly the lives of our people and our country's public health and also to ensure the vaccination process is a success."

Previously the issue in Spain, much like the rest of Europe, was a lack of vaccine supply. Supply lines have now increased, but the big challenge is to change public perception of safety so that as many people get vaccinated as possible.

In France, Emmanuel Macron visited Delpharm, the first COVID-19 vaccine production plant in France. Speaking to reporters, he said he hoped it would deliver tens of millions of bottles of vaccines by the end of the year.

"What we have seen this morning, in concrete terms for our fellow citizens, are these doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine produced here and then sent to vaccination centers to be used by our fellow citizens and also delivered to our European neighbors."

As Europe looks to ramp up its supply, representatives of the European Medicines Agency are visiting Russia to review the country's Sputnik V vaccine.

Previously an official from the European body urged caution in approval at a national level as they continue a rolling review of the vaccine.

Meanwhile, there has been more bad news for the Anglo-Swedish AstraZeneca vaccine after Hong Kong announced it would be suspending its usage of the jab.

Authorities there say they will wait until an upgraded second-generation version of the drug becomes available, as it may be better suited to protect its residents against the new virus variants of the COVID-19 strain.