COVID-19: EMA confirms link between AstraZeneca vaccine and cases of thromboembolism – News

The person responsible for the vaccination strategy at the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Marco Cavaleri, today assumed the existence of a “link” between AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine and the cases of thromboembolisms after its administration.

“We can now say it: it is evident that there is a connection with the vaccine. What causes this reaction, however, we still do not know,” said Cavaleri, in an interview with the Italian daily Il Messaggero, adding: “In the next few hours we will say that there is a connection, but we still need to understand how it happens “.

Suspicions about possible serious but rare side effects have been raised for several weeks now, after people having been vaccinated with the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca with atypical thrombosis have been observed. After an investigation in late March, the EMA expects to meet on the case between today and Friday.

“We try to get a clear picture of what is going on, to define precisely this syndrome induced by vaccination. Among those vaccinated, there are more cases of cerebral thrombosis in younger people than one would expect. This will have to be said,” he said.

Dozens of thromboembolic events have been reported, with some resulting in death. In the UK, there were 30 cases and seven deaths in a total of about 18.1 million doses administered as of March 24.

So far, EMA has always maintained that “no causal relationship with the vaccine has been proven”, although it has not ruled out the possibility, reiterating that the benefits of vaccination against the SARS-CoV-2 virus always outweigh the risks.

According to medical microbiology expert Paul Hunter, from the University of East Anglia, interviewed by AFP, “the evidence points more to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine being the cause”. As a precaution, several countries have decided to stop administering the vaccine below a certain age, including France, Germany and Canada. Norway and Denmark have even suspended their use.


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Marco Cavaleri, EMA vaccine strategy director créditos: EPA / PIETER STAM DE JONGE

The appearance of cases of blood clots and deaths of people inoculated with this drug has led most European countries, including Portugal, to suspend the administration of this vaccine for a few days, a situation that was overcome after the EMA’s guarantee that it is “safe and effective”. .

Still, some countries, such as Norway, maintain the suspension and others, such as Germany and France, limit vaccination with this vaccine to those over 60 years of age.

For AstraZeneca, the vaccine’s benefits in preventing COVID-19 outweigh the risks of side effects. The Anglo-Swedish laboratory said on Saturday that “patient safety” was its “top priority”.

In Portugal, it is estimated that the first vaccination phase will be completed on April 11, when more than one million Portuguese will be vaccinated.

Currently, four vaccines are approved in the EU: Pfizer / BioNTech (Comirnaty), Moderna, Vaxzevria and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson group, which will be distributed in April).

The COVID-19 pandemic caused at least 2,853,908 deaths worldwide, resulting from more than 131.2 million cases of infection, according to a report made by the French agency AFP.

In Portugal, 16,879 people died from 823,335 confirmed cases of infection, according to the most recent bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health.

The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China.

Video – Do you know how vaccines and the immune system work?

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