27 without a common position on the AstraZeneca vaccine. Presidency and Commission call for coordination

The Minister of Health, Marta Temido, called the emergency meeting to coordinate positions, but the videoconference of Health Ministers of the European Union again made it clear that not everyone interprets and follows the recommendations of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in the same way .

“EU Member States shared different interpretations of the conclusions of the [mais recente] report, having tried, however, to clarify with the EMA aspects related to the security of Vaxzevria “, says the communiqué of the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the EU, at the end of the meeting.

The 27 met shortly after the press conference of the European Medicines Agency, in which it was confirmed that “there is a possibility of very rare cases of blood clot formation” associated with reduced levels of platelets, most of which have been identified , in females under the age of 60 “. However, the EMA stressed that the benefits of the vaccine continue to outweigh the risks and that there is currently no evidence to justify the administration of the vaccine to specific age groups.

Still, several countries have announced new age restrictions in the meantime. Belgium, for example, decided this Wednesday to administer the AstraZeneca vaccine to people over 56 and Italy to over 60, as Germany has been doing. France, on the other hand, is limited to those over 55 years of age.

“This is a technical decision. Not a political decision. We must continue to follow the best scientific information provided by EMA in its opinions. We must not forget that individual decisions affect everyone “, warns Marta Temido in the statement.

This afternoon, António Costa had called for a “coordinated position”, arguing that it was necessary to avoid “each one for himself”, since that was “a factor of distrust and insecurity for all”.

At the end of the meeting, there was no press conference, but only a joint statement by the Portuguese presidency and the European Commission. Both call for greater coordination in the field of vaccination, especially when national immunization plans are expected to start to pick up speed.

“Our decisions must now be based on the scientific work of EMA and on a rigorous and continuous assessment of risks and benefits. Today, I call on Ministers of Health to follow a coordinated approach across Europe to improve citizens’ confidence. “, also defends the Commissioner of Health, Stella Kyriakides, also mentioned in the statement.

As for the common points, “all agreed on the need for more pharmacovigilance studies for specific groups”.

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