“AstraZeneca has been given many millions of doses around the world. And about twenty cases of thrombosis have been described. For the moment, the drug regulatory agencies have not raised the alarm.”
He believes that the decision of certain countries and communities in Spain to stop vaccinating with this drug is another “mechanism for the population”, so that there is no “panic” to get the vaccine. Although he warns that the vaccination plan can be delayed: “AstraZeneca is very easy to put in, if you don’t put it in, the process can be delayed a lot.”
The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, pointed out this Friday that the AstraZeneca batch withdrawn in other countries due to alleged thrombotic episodes and which is being investigated was already supplied and administered in Spain, so “it is not about stopping a batch” that Spain does not have. Also the World Health Organization (WHO) says that “there is no reason” to stop using this drug.
Although the European Medicines Agency has insisted this week in its preliminary analysis that at the moment “there is no evidence” that the AstraZeneca vaccine causes conditions related to thrombosis, several Member States have opted directly to temporarily suspend the administration of this antidote or at least paralyze the pricks with the vaccines from a specific batch (ABV5300) distributed in 17 Member States, including Spain.
This is the case of Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia and this Friday also Bulgaria (in addition to Iceland and Norway).
Italy for its part has paralyzed the injections of another batch (ABV2856), after several deaths in Sicily. Despite growing doubts in some countries, as of Wednesday according to the EMA, only 30 cases of thrombosis-related conditions had been reported among the 5 million people vaccinated with the AstraZeneca antidote, a number that is not higher than can be achieved. see in the general population.
The European regulator’s safety committee (PRAC) has launched an in-depth investigation to review all cases of thromboembolism reported after the injection of covid vaccines and, if necessary, will make recommendations to minimize the risks.
In an interview in RNE and when asked if a specific monitoring of the people inoculated with this batch will be activated, Darias explained that the Ministry and the Spanish Agency for Medicines carry out a “permanent” pharmacovigilance monitoring since any vaccine is administered, so no specific process will be launched because the one that exists is already “very powerful”.
Darias has insisted that the AstraZeneca vaccine is “safe” and so says the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which has shown that “there is no causal relationship between the thrombotic event and the vaccine itself.” Therefore, it has reiterated the message of “prudence and tranquility” and maximum vigilance.
Regarding the fact that the EMA has given itself 14 days to establish a general recommendation on the vaccination of AstraZeneca and if Spain is finally going to apply it to people over 55 years of age, Darias has said that the Government will give itself “a waiting period.” depending on what the EMA says “and from there we will act.”
As decided in mid-February by the Public Health Commission , the AstraZeneca vaccine is being administered to essential workers under the age of 55 (firefighters, teachers, police and some non-frontline health workers , among others), who will be followed by the population generally between 45 and 55 years old.
The minister has also referred to the vaccination of the child population and has indicated that as long as there are no clinical trials or evidence, “this vaccination cannot be carried out” and recalled that the EMA technical file is from 18 years of age. . In the case of pregnant women, Darias has considered that, for now, it will only be carried out under medical prescription.
Fear of the side effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine corner the pharmaceutical company that sees how several countries have decided to suspend vaccination with these doses. The last one, Thailand , which this Friday chose to postpone vaccination against COVID-19 with Oxford-AstraZeneca, the day after some European countries did the same due to its possible adverse effects.
The suspension for two weeks was announced in extremis at a press conference in which in principle they planned to report on the start of the vaccination with the drug that was going to have the Thai Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-ocha , and other ministers among the first inoculated.
“We have to delay vaccination with AstraZeneca,” said the Thai government adviser on vaccination against covid-19, Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, who said the decision was made after the temporary suspension announced in Denmark.