Neither the isolated cases of thrombosis that occurred in people immunized with the AstraZeneca vaccine nor its apparent adverse effects they will be able to apparently with a vaccine that, as recently indicated to EL ESPAÑOL the Vice-president of the Spanish Association of Vaccination, Fernando Moraga-Llop, from the beginning “got on the wrong foot”.
The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, said it again this Thursday in The sixth: “I want to transmit a AstraZeneca Vaccine Reassurance MessageIn Spain there have not been any cases and the relationship between the vaccine and the death of a person due to having received the vaccine has not yet been established “.
This is information that contrasts with the continuation of the ban on this vaccine for people over 55 years of age, something that is not endorsed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or the World Health Organization (WHO), which have authorized the drug for over 18 years old without age limit.
But it is a pertinent message because the vaccine’s safety doubts now go beyond the age range and directly question whether the drug is associated with the risk of thrombosis.
In Denmark it has vaccination suspended “due to precautionary principle” Y Norway and Iceland have also decided this Thursday to suspend inoculation with the vaccine, while six other countries – Austria, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, and the last one, Italy – have announced these days the suspension of a specific batch of the vaccine. vaccine that, by the way, it has also been distributed in Spain.
The EMA has taken the matter seriously and is investigating the cases of thrombotic events detected in 22 vaccinated people in the European Union. But, for the moment, they have advanced that heThe information available to date indicates that the number of thromboembolic events in vaccinated “is not greater than that seen in the general populationl, “he said in a statement.
This afternoon, the agency has gone further and has asked that the immunization of the population be continued with this vaccine, which, by the way, is cheaper and easier to keep than the rest.
For this reason, the prevailing feeling among physicians around the world – beyond health authorities – is that the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and, above all, necessary. Just until this Thursday there were only three vaccines approved in Europe – today the fourth, from Janssen, has been approved – and are not enough to immunize the entire population.
But in Spain not everyone can wear it while, paradoxically, in other countries of the European Union yes. Since its approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), our country has chosen to restrict its use to persons under 56 years of age.
It was not the only country that prohibited immunizing the elderly with the AstraZeneca compound, despite the fact that both the EMA itself and the World Health Organization (WHO) have authorized it for “over 18 years”.
Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, Greece, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, Austria and Norway (the latter outside the EU) also set age limits. But only Spain, Belgium and Italy set it at 55 years.
Because, as he also commented to this newspaper Moraga-Llop leave out aeThis specific strip even involved logistical problems, Leaving out of priority vaccination groups active, essential non-health professionals such as teachers and police officers.
Although the Ministry of Health has said after the last meeting of the Interterritorial Health Council that the prohibition is not immovable – and that it could be revised, according to advances in scientific evidence- neither doctors nor some autonomous communities they are in favor of it.
Of the latter, Catalonia has been the most combative. The Secretary of Public Health of the Generalitat, Josep Maria Argimon, demanded this Tuesday once again the use of AstraZeneca vaccines for the population over 55 years of age, and avoid using these doses to essential professionals younger and with more protection against the virus.
But Madrid has also expressed itself in this regard. The Minister of Health of the Community of Madrid, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, has asked Minister Darias in writing to increase the age of authorization of the vaccine. “I believe that it is essential and urgent to raise the age of administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine so that people over 55 years of age can receive it as soon as possible ”, the letter begins. “In this way we would achieve that the doses that are being used to vaccinate essential groups, such as teachers or Security Forces and Corps, cover, at a minimum, all working age “, keep going.
In case there are those who believe that this is a matter of political populism, it is better to take a look at the reactions of the doctors. The body that represents them in Spain, the Collegiate Medical Organization (OMC) also has spoken in favor of extending it to 65.
The feeling among experts is that it is something that will end up being done when scientific evidence is published on the matter. Moraga-Llop commented that there is a study preprint – not yet peer reviewed – showing that the vaccine is highly effective in people over 70 years of age.
The most logical thing is that this work ends up being published in a prestigious magazine, the use of the vaccine ends up spreading -as it has already happened in Italy- and we all wonder if precious time has not been wasted.