Marco Cavaleri, EMA’s vaccine chief, acknowledges a link between the suspected AstraZeneca side effects and the vaccine in an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Messagero.
Cavaleri tells the Italian newspaper that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks. But he also says that it is now “harder to say” that there is no “causal link between the vaccination” and “very rare cases of blood clots associated with a low platelet count”.
– It is an association with the vaccine. We still do not know what causes this reaction, he says.
This week, the Side Effects Committee of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has new meetings about the vaccine. They are working to investigate the suspected AstraZeneca side effects.
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Discussed in meetings this week
The meeting this week is set up over three days, from today to Friday. And one of the things to discuss is how clearly one should be able to link the special, serious cases of vaccination to vaccination with AstraZeneca:
– One of the topics discussed at this meeting is precisely whether these incidents should be included in the list of side effects of the Astrazeneca vaccine, says Steinar Madsen in the Norwegian Medicines Agency to VG.
Previously, the side effects committee in the EMA has included a warning about the special disease cases in the vaccine’s drug review, but they have not wanted to include this type of disease case under the list of side effects.
If one is to do so, one must have reasonable grounds to assume that there is a causal link. The Norwegian Medicines Agency has meant this, and the representative from the Norwegian Medicines Agency therefore took a dissent when this was decided three weeks ago.
– As a number of new cases have emerged in many countries, it is clear that it strengthens the suspicion that there is a connection with the vaccine, says Madsen.
Do not know what is the trigger
The experts who have investigated the disease cases in Norway, believe that a strong immune response triggered the system so that you have a combination of blood clots and low platelets – and that there is no other thing than the vaccine that can explain this immune response.
Madsen says you know what happens when the course of the disease is first triggered. He describes it as a “cascade” – that is, a number of things begin to happen in the body.
– We know that there is a cascade – it starts with the formation of antibodies that affect the platelets, the platelets seem to clump together and cause blood clots. But the big question is what triggers this cascade in some, says Madsen.
Several professional communities are working to investigate this further. A German professional community that has investigated the suspected serious side effects has come to the same conclusion as the Norwegian – they believe that there is a rare common feature between those who have become ill.
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