That of AstraZeneca seems to be an endless story, between blocks, unconditional green light, second thoughts. And today a new chapter is added. There is the hypothesis – in fact – that Italy follows the example of Germany and reserves the use of the Oxford vaccine for over 60s. Among the experts of the Ministry of Health there is the belief that, if indeed Ema will confirm the causal link between rare forms of thrombosis and the AstraZeneca vaccine, with more frequency among women under 50, it will be inevitable to revise the categories for vaccinations. All this would involve a deep and ongoing reorganization of the vaccination machine.
Up to now, in fact, the doses of AstraZenecca have been given above all to the youngest, precisely to the under 60s: teachers and police forces. What will happen with the recalls? In Germany, after the recommendation to administer the AstraZeneca anti-Covid vaccine only to people over 60 years of age, the Permanent Vaccination Commission recommended, for those under 60 who have already received the first dose of the product of the Anglo-Swedish multinational, to resort to second to an mRna vaccine (Pfizer and Moderna). Could Italy also take the same decision?
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Today the meeting between the technicians of the Italian Medicines Agency (Aifa) and the Ministry of Health regarding any further indications on the use of the AstraZeneca anti-Covid vaccine is however scheduled for the afternoon. For a decision, however, the ruling of the European Medicines Agency EMA will be awaited, expected by Thursday, on the possible correlation between the vaccine and the very rare thrombotic events reported in various countries.
“It is possible, for greater precaution, that the European Medicines Agency Ema indicates that for a certain category it is better not to use the AstraZeneca anti-Covid vaccine“. This was stated by Undersecretary of Health Pierpaolo Sileri, specifying however that “this also happened for many other drugs” and that in the case of AstraZeneca the vaccine was used “in an extremely high number of subjects, while the rare thrombotic events reported are very few “. “There is no doubt that there is a positive risk-benefit balance,” he added.
The EMA, explained Sileri to Radio24, “that is, it can identify subgroups of the population that have a common denominator for a higher level of risk, and evaluate the cause-effect relationship in these groups” in relation to the rare thrombotic events that have been reported. As for the possibility that the EMA will therefore limit the use of the vaccine by excluding certain categories, this, Sileri emphasized, “is part of the pharmacovigilance processes and has already happened for many other drugs, starting with aspirin, for which since the 1980s, a limit of use has been set for children under 12 for some adverse events “.
“Astrazeneca vaccine associated with development of thrombosis”
It is “good that all available data on possible adverse events in young women are analyzed, to protect public health“. This was stated in an interview by the immunologist Alberto Mantovani, according to which the serious cases of thrombosis observed in relation to the AstraZeneca vaccine “could possibly be caused, according to a recent publication, by the formation of autoantibodies, as happens, in very rare cases, during treatments with heparin”; “if confirmed, observation could guide the diagnosis and treatment of these, albeit very rare, adverse events.” Mantovani underlines that “for now the analysis conducted by Ema on the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine has reassured that it does not cause an increase in the frequency of thromboembolism, we await further analyzes”. Then the professor of the Humanitas Institute in Milan adds: “The data indicate that in some categories of fragile subjects the vaccine may work a little less well: we must certainly vaccinate fragile people, but also study how to protect them as much as possible, then understand when to vaccinate them. , identify which of them have a greater or lesser response “, therefore” we must accompany vaccination with research programs that allow us to better respond to their needs. In this sense, collaborative studies are underway between different institutions that will probably have the support of the Ministry of Health “.
And although rare, too Marco Cavalry, in charge of Ema’s vaccine strategy, confirmed to Messaggero a link between vaccine and thrombosis cases: “We are trying to get the precise picture of what happens, to define in detail this vaccine-related syndrome”. Can it already be said that it is due to the vaccine? “In my opinion – he replies – we can now say, it is clear there is an association with the vaccine. What causes this reaction, however, we still do not know”.