EMA recommends Astrazeneca vaccine | Free press


London / Amsterdam (dpa) – The reviews of rare cases of blood clots following vaccination with the Astrazeneca vaccine by experts in the EU and Great Britain showed surprising results on Wednesday.

Although the European Medicines Agency (EMA) found these to be side effects of the vaccine, it has not changed its unqualified recommendation for the vaccine. However, the British vaccination committee JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization) did not want to find out what caused the blood clots. However, she adjusted her recommendation for people under the age of 30 who should now receive a different vaccine.

In Germany, the recommendation is unlikely to directly affect the decision of the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko), which last recommended the Astrazeneca vaccine for people over 60. What the EMA did can be justified with certainty, Stiko member Christian Bogdan said Wednesday. Belgium initially only wants to vaccinate people over 55 years of age with the preparation, the health ministers of the country decided on Wednesday, according to various media.

According to the MHRA, 79 cases of rare blood clots have occurred so far in Britain following vaccinations with the Astrazeneca preparation. There were 19 deaths. Young people are disproportionately affected. According to the vaccination committee, a direct link with the vaccine has not yet been proven. But given the lower risk of death from Covid-19 for younger people, this has been weighed up, he said.

“This is a change of course,” said government medical adviser Jonathan Van-Tam. “We hope it will not lead to less confidence in the vaccines.” The benefits of the vaccine would outweigh the risks for the vast majority of people. In addition, any side effects will be monitored and monitored very carefully. Prime Minister Boris Johnson stressed that people of all ages can have complete confidence in the vaccines with the updated recommendation from the experts.

The EMA experts found a link between vaccine and thrombosis when a very low platelet count was present at the same time. However, this is very rare. The authority thus remains committed to its assessment of the preparation. “The benefits of the active ingredient in combating Covid-19 are significantly higher than the risks,” EMA chief Emer Cooke said in Amsterdam on Wednesday.

It is unclear what consequences the EMA decision now has for vaccinations in the EU Member States. Several EU countries, including Germany, had previously restricted the use of the vaccine to people aged 60 and older. Specifically, this mainly concerns rare cases of blood clots (thrombosis) in cerebral veins after an Astrazeneca vaccination. In Germany there were 31 suspected cases.

As a result, the EMA set up a group of experts in March. She had initially found no connection with the vaccination. But the investigation had continued. The experts suspect it is a very rare immune response. Most cases occurred about two weeks after vaccination. Unlike the UK, the EMA experts have not identified any specific risk factors such as age or gender.

The EMA advised vaccinated people to watch out for the small possibility of the very rare blood clots. If symptoms do occur, they should seek medical advice immediately, he said. The vaccine with the market name Vaxzevria received a conditional marketing authorization for the EU at the end of January. After that, the British-Swedish manufacturer is still obliged to provide all data on possible side effects.

The EMA experts estimate the frequency of reported incidents involving blood clots in the brain to be around 1 in 100,000 on Wednesday. It depends a lot on how good the reporting systems are. In Germany, for example, this is 1 in 100,000, but significantly lower in Great Britain.