These steps by the four largest countries of the European Union, after the pauses of a few small member states, mark a new crisis of confidence. available vaccine This is seen as the best hope for accelerating COVID-19 vaccination in developing countries.
Experts stress that there is no clear evidence yet that the vaccine causes these reported thrombi, and that cases are being investigated by regulators. But the latest concerns come back earlier questions from scientists about how the company dealt with the problems safety և efficiency It comes shortly before AstraZeneca announces the results of a large-scale clinical trial that will determine whether the FDA allows the vaccine to be used in the United States.
Vaccination shutdowns in Europe have sparked reports of three hospitalizations, including one that has died. Norway, և: subsequent death in Denmark, In: announcement: The European Medicines Agency, the regulator of the EU-equivalent FDA, said on March 11 that a total of 30 cases of “thromboembolic events” or blood clots had been reported among the 5 million people who received AstraZeneca shots. In the EU.
“There is currently no evidence that the vaccine has caused these conditions, which are not listed as side effects of this vaccine,” the EMA said. “The position of the EMA Safety Committee is that the benefits of the vaccine continue to outweigh its risks. The vaccine may continue to be administered.”
AstraZeneca said there were a total of 37 cases of pulmonary embolism եր deep vein thrombosis, both caused by blood clots, which was less than expected from the general population.
“In the EU, 17 in the UK, we now have around 17 million people receiving the vaccine, and the number of cases of blood clots in this group is lower than the expected hundreds,” said Anne Taylor, chief medical officer. a announcement: March 14.
And so is the World Health Organization urging countries to continue using the vaccine, responding that there is no evidence that it causes blood clots. WHO experts meet on Tuesday to discuss blood tissue reports.
However, in some cases some countries give up. According to German Health Minister Jens Spann, seven rare cases have been reported. cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), out of 1.6 million people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine in Germany. The Paul Erlich Institute, part of the German Ministry of Health, said on Monday that this was the case. concerned that the condition was reported with unusual bleeding ցածր combined with low blood platelet counts that cause thrombosis և prevent bleeding.
A handful of cases seen in Germany so far would be more than expected, but they could be a statistical mess. «[T]”The probability of such a statistical clustering for one result is actually quite high, even if for some reason there is no setback,” said Paul Hunter, a public health specialist at the University of England in the United Kingdom.
The EMA will meet on Tuesday to discuss blood coagulation concerns, and is expected to release its findings on Thursday. The long vaccination break will be a worrying prospect, given that COVID-19 cases are rising again in a number of EU countries. In Italy particularly alarming wave – with the spread of more infectious variants.
Experts who contacted BuzzFeed News say that without knowing more about the patients’ cases, there is not enough evidence to make clear conclusions that the vaccine has caused condensation. “We would like to know the age of the cases, their previous medical history, and the conditions that may predispose them to either a blood clot or bleeding,” said Orly Varden of the University of Minnesota, a pharmacist who specializes in heart health.
“It may or may not be related to vaccines. “If it’s vaccine-related, if it’s not ubiquitous, the most likely explanation would be a question of batch production,” John von Moore, a virologist at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, told BuzzFeed News. (Some countries, including Austriato have specially discontinued vaccination From certain batches of AstraZeneca vaccine).
The new concern is the latest in a series of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine slips developed at Oxford University. Back in November, AstraZeneca claimed that it was in a press release that its vaccine is generally 70% effective; it can be up to 90% effective if the first of two shots is given at half dose. But many scientists were skepticalespecially after the drug company admitted that this regimen was a result Dosage calculation, Later AstraZeneca added to the mess changing its explanation For the required 90% efficacy, the interval between the initial dosing and the two doses.
A more severe blow came in February, when tests in South Africa showed the vaccine was not effective against a more contagious version of the coronavirus circulating there. South Africa abruptly discontinued plans to use the AstraZeneca vaccine և and switched to Johnson & Johnson և Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines.
Now scientists are waiting for a big trial The AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been administered in the United States and other countries, will be the cornerstone of the company’s application for FDA approval. But some experts are wondering whether adding AstraZeneca to the vaccine armaments used in the US will create more problems. Anti-vaccines are likely to benefit from negative publicity surrounding it to damage the wider vaccine engine.
“Does it really have room to fill in?” Will it be trusted enough? Or will it just be another headache? ” said Moore.
Child Health Protection, an organization that has: to paddle misinformation և: conspiracy theories about vaccines for years, already has highlighted A number of European countries are stopping the use of vaccines.
Where the vaccine can make a huge difference is in developing countries, especially in Africa, where the vaccine is spreading. lagging far behind“The Biden administration is already under pressure to donate earlier doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to poorer countries.” The New York Times reports March 11. COVAX, meanwhile, is a partnership between the WHO, the Coalition of Epidemiology Innovation Գ Vaccine Alliance, Gavi, to provide affordable vaccines to poorer countries. relying on the AstraZeneca vaccine to deliver hundreds of millions of doses across a developing country.
“Security is our top priority. “We know that the national authorities, the WTO, are closely monitoring the situation, and the COVAX company will follow their lead,” Gavi’s spokesman told BuzzFeed News. “There is currently no causal link between the vaccine and thromboembolic cases. The vaccine remains an effective public health tool in combating this epidemic.”