Is AstraZeneca dangerous?  This is the scientific background

Is AstraZeneca dangerous? This is the scientific background

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The Federal Ministry of Health announced that AstraZeneca will not be vaccinated in Germany for the time being. I refer to a current recommendation made by the Paul Ehrlich Institute for additional investigations necessary.

Several countries have temporarily discontinued the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine after reports of individual cases of blood clots following vaccination.

Initially, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) saw no evidence of a causal relationship between thrombosis and vaccination.

Vaccinations with AstraZeneca in Germany will be discontinued for the time being. The Federal Ministry of Health announced Monday that the vaccine will not be used initially for vaccination. The current recommendation was referenced by the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) regarding additional investigations needed.

The reason is the possibility of an increased risk of blood clots and thrombosis of cerebral veins associated with the active substance. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will then decide “whether and how the new findings will affect the approval of the vaccine.” Health Minister Jens Spahn said at a press conference that it is important to follow the technical recommendations issued by Prince Edward Island in order to maintain trust among residents.

Previously, several countries such as Denmark, Norway, Bulgaria, Iceland, Thailand, the Netherlands, Ireland and Italy decided to stop vaccination until March 29. There were sporadic cases of blood clots after vaccination, some of which resulted in death.

Health politician Karl Lauterbach described the ban on vaccination of AstraZeneca as a “fatal mistake”. Lauterbach said of the “Reinisch Post” (Tuesday): “This only creates a state of uncertainty and distrust significantly in the situation in which each vaccine is important.” It is best to get an examination while taking vaccinations. “I don’t know of any analyzes that would justify the exposure,” said the SPD politician and epidemiologist. The risk of blood clots may be “in the range of 1 in 100,000 or less” and does not appear to be increased compared to unvaccinated people.

The health minister reported seven cases of blood clots with 1.6 million vaccines

The Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Panel, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) responsible for assessing and safety of human drugs, initially said that there is no evidence of a causal relationship between the risk signal and vaccination. this is The EMA reported last week.

The number of cases reported so far in the European Economic Area does not represent an accumulation compared to the incidence in the general population, and Health Minister Span spoke of seven cases of blood clots with 1.6 million vaccines.

In Germany, so-called blood clots occur one to three times per 1,000 people each year. Therefore it is a very common phenomenon, even among young people. Additionally, there are about 11 million Britons who have been vaccinated and vaccinated so far, but they will not be enrolled in the EMA security system after Brexit. According to the developers, blood clotting disorders have not yet occurred as unwanted side effects in studies of the vaccine.

“… there is no evidence that death in Denmark has a causal relationship to the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine”

Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Friday that such reports would be taken seriously. However, at the same time, it is important to emphasize that only expert examination can clarify whether problems such as thrombosis are in fact a causal relationship – or only a temporary one.

The Paul Ehrlich Institute, the highest federal vaccination authority in Germany, also said in a preliminary assessment that “there is no evidence that death in Denmark is causally related to the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine. According to the EMA, in the Paul Ehrlich Institute’s view, the benefits of vaccination outweigh the known risks.” “.

The events that occurred will continue to be investigated intensively to find out the possible causes. What is certain is that corona infection itself significantly increases the risk of such a thrombosis. About 15 percent of people suffer from this stroke.

About the interrupted vaccinations, Leif-Erik Sander, head of the Immunology and Vaccine Research Group at Charité in Berlin, said last week about the interrupted vaccinations: “The measures taken should of course be understood as precautionary measures. However, even after several million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were administered, for example in Great Britain, there was no accumulation of thrombotic events among the vaccinated. Therefore, a causal relationship could not be expected. Vaccination and coagulation. “

It is important and correct that all events are followed very carefully. This is also done by the responsible authorities. But for now, he sees no cause for concern. “At the moment, it does not seem appropriate to speculate on possible disease mechanisms, as a causal relationship between vaccination and thromboembolic events is unlikely,” he says.

The damage from suspending the vaccination campaign is greater

Clemens Windtner, Chief Physician for Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine and Head of the Special Unit there for the highly contagious and life-threatening infection at the Munich Schwabing Clinic explains: “There are a few, albeit always unfortunate, incidents in the course of vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine, AZD1222, which currently cause general excitement or uncertainty: one person who was vaccinated ten days after vaccination died of multiple strokes, and another person suffered a pulmonary embolism after the vaccination. She is recovering Currently, two more cases of thromboembolic events have been reported with a specific vaccine from this vaccine (ABV5300) by 9 March 2021. “

However, Windtner says, the damage has already been done – “not by the vaccine itself, but by the suspension of the vaccination campaign in some European countries such as Denmark and Norway.”

In his opinion, the focus should be on the UK: 22 million people there, many of them are being vaccinated with the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine. The vaccine works well, and thanks to this vaccine, Great Britain has now recorded fewer new infections and hospitalized patients – and hopefully, it will soon find its way out of the pandemic.

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