LONDON (AP) – German officials have decided to limit the use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in people under the age of 60 after more unusual blood clots were found in people who were shot.
Earlier this month, more than a dozen countries, including Germany, stopped using AstraZeneca due to a blood clot. The European Drug Regulatory Authority said the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks of people not being vaccinated against COVID-19, some with restrictions imposed by Germany on Tuesday.
Seeing who can get the vaccine has raised concerns that its reliability could be permanently compromised. Here’s a look at what we know and what we don’t.
WHAT HAPPENED IN GERMANY?
Earlier this week, the German medical regulator released new data showing that there has been an increase in the number of unusual cases of blood clots in people who have recently received a dose of AstraZeneca. In response, Health Minister Jens Spann said government officials had agreed to give the vaccine only to people 60 years of age or older unless they were at high risk of developing serious complications from COVID-19.
“We are talking about weighing the risk of side effects, which is statistically small, but the risk of coronary heart disease should be taken seriously,” said Span.
According to the German medical regulator, the number of rare thrombi registered as of March 29 has reached 31. About 2.7 million doses of AstraZeneca have been taken in Germany so far. The Paul Ehrlich Institute reports that nine of the men died; in all but two cases, there were women between the ages of 20 and 63.
Some blood clots have also been reported elsewhere, among the tens of millions of people who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine.
WHAT DID THE PRESIDENT’S EXAMINATIONS FIND?
Earlier this month, the European Medicines Agency concluded that AstraZeneca’s staff did not increase the overall risk of blood clots, but could not rule out the possibility of rare thrombi, and suggested adding a new warning to the vaccine leaflet. It does not recommend applying new age restrictions. Shot is allowed for people 18 18 և older.
The World Health Organization (WHO) expert committee also evaluated the data available on the AstraZeneca vaccine, saying that the shot was safe and effective. On Wednesday, Dr. Kate O’Brien, who heads the WHO vaccine department, said they were continuing to review the situation.
It is normal to continue to look for side effects as new vaccines become available, as they are usually tested on tens of thousands of people, but some rare problems can only occur after receiving millions.
HOW CAN SCIENTISTS DRAW IF THE VACCINE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR RARE BLOOD TISSUE?
“Vaccination is a way to find out if there is an overdose in vaccinated people,” said Dr Peter Anglis, a former chair of the British Medical Association’s Public Health Committee.
It will take some time. It took, for example, about a year before scientists were able to conclude that the swine flu vaccine was responsible for some drug cases in Europe.
Adam Finn, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Bristol, says there is still no convincing evidence that the vaccine is responsible for rare blood clots.
“The mechanism by which these coagulation abnormalities occur and why they affect so many individuals is not yet well developed,” he said in a statement.
The EMA continues to scrutinize two rare types of blood tissue that have been reported in people who have received at least one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. It convened two expert meetings this week to evaluate more data և may update its vaccine recommendations in the coming weeks.
In a statement, AstraZeneca said it was analyzing tens of millions of records of people who received the vaccine “to see if these very rare cases of blood clots occur more often than expected in millions of people.”
WHAT SAYS WHAT KOVID-19 Vaccines?
This is bad news. Health officials are concerned that double-depletion of AstraZeneca vaccine: restrictions could undermine confidence in the shot, which is key to global efforts to eradicate the epidemic, as it is cheaper, easier to maintain than some others.
In Norway, which recently extended the suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine for three weeks, officials say the confusion is causing a wave of vaccine hesitation.
The head of the Norwegian General Practice Association, Marte Kvitum Tangen, told NRK TV that the resumption of vaccination with AstraZeneca “will be very difficult if we want to cover as many vaccines as possible in the long run”.
Free, from the University of Bristol, said the biggest threat in the world right now is COVID-19, which casts doubt on the effectiveness of authorized coronavirus vaccines.
“We must focus on preventing (COVID-19) the loss of millions of lives until it is controlled, the only effective way is vaccination,” he said.
Associated Press writers in Berlin Frank Jord’s son իր Gir Moulson, և Gene nևme ami Kitten contributed to this report.
Follow the AP Epidemic Coverage: