Updated: Thursday, April 8, 2021 12:53 PM
Published on: 08.04.2021 12:51
The European Medicines Agency has left it up to national authorities to decide who AstraZeneca vaccines are given to and, in general, they have all gone in the same direction. Spain has decided not to vaccinate those under 60 with AstraZeneca, a move that has found its biggest critics in the Ayuso government.
However, the healthcare decision is not something surprising in Europe. Spain’s restriction to AstraZeneca is joined by countries like Italy and Portugal. Also the Netherlands, Germany and Finland although these three have already applied it for this age before the EMA was pronounced on Wednesday.
Two countries apply a wider range and vaccinate people over 55 with the Oxford formula. This is the case for France and Belgium. In addition, there are territories that have maintained full suspension of the vaccine since mid-March. These are Norway and Denmark.
As for the United Kingdom, they announced their decision on Wednesday. Those under 30 may decide to get vaccinated with AstraZeneca, which is used more widely and there are more doses, or rather to wait for another vaccine. Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been frank about doubts about its effectiveness: “The vaccine is safe, effective and has already saved thousands of lives. Most people should accept it when offered.” he said on Wednesday.
AstraZeneca data in Spain and Europe
According to EMA data, up to March 22, 86 cases of thrombi have been detected in the EU, with 18 deaths. By contrast, until April 4, there are 222 confirmed cases, but out of a total of 34 million people vaccinated. In other words, according to this incidence, there is only one case of thrombus per 100,000 bites (although in Europe, they note that this may vary in some countries, depending on their follow-up capacity).
In this sense, the Director General of the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products, María Jesús Lamas, reported during the press conference after the Interterritorial Health Council on Wednesday that “the benefit-risk ratio of the vaccine stay positive “. In fact, in Spain cases can be counted on the fingers of one hand, also due to the low frequency of the vaccine compared to other countries. On some occasions, health has even ruled out such cases with the vaccine, as it cannot demonstrate causation.
Likewise, according to Lamas, “the vaccine’s interest has been shown to prevent COVID-19 and reduce hospitalizations and deaths”, although he defends the caution with which health authorities have acted so far. : “Despite the low frequency with which they occur, it is important to stress the importance of early diagnosis,” he stressed.