What will Italy do? The question is heavy, because the review of Ema’s recommendations on AstraZeneca influences the month of April, which was to mark the acceleration of vaccinations. There is a risk of having to rethink the strategy. And the bad news on supplies continues: AstraZeneca will send half of the planned doses on 12 April (in Lazio 15,000 instead of 30,000 which already represented a cut). The pharmaceutical company promises to recover in the following days, but for some time the Regions have said, without regular sending, an effective vaccination campaign is not being organized. It is hoped for an increase in Pfizer supplies, while the Sputnik V hypothesis recedes as the Russian producers have asked the EMA inspectors to postpone the visit of the plants to May without which the authorization cannot be issued.
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With these premises, the hypothesis that Italy follows Germany’s example and limits the use of AstraZeneca to over 60s is a sword of Damocles, because it would require a reorganization of the deep machine. To date, among other things, the AstraZeneca vaccine has been given above all to the youngest, precisely to the under 60s: to teachers and law enforcement. Among the experts of the Ministry of Health there is the belief that, if Ema really confirms the causal link between the rare forms of thrombosis and AstraZeneca, more frequently among women under 50, it will be inevitable to follow the German example. . Let’s repeat it: we are talking, from a statistical point of view, of a very low incidence. The cases under observation involve cerebral thrombosis of the venous sinuses (Cvst, the blood forms clots in the veins that flow from the brain) and the presence of low levels of platelets. If AstraZeneca were the only vaccine available, there would be no doubts, it would be worth continuing to administer it to everyone, because there is talk of a low risk in the face of 400-500 certain deaths from Covid every day. But from an ethical and maximum precautionary point of view, since there are three other vaccines available (Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson), it makes sense to limit the use of AstraZeneca to the over 60s, for whom there have been no reports of adverse reactions. It should also be said that the decision will not be made by the Ministry, but by AIFA, the drug agency, which is awaiting the outcome of the investigation by Ema’s Prac committee.
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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? Since the second dose is given 12 weeks after the first, millions of people are affected. In principle, however, the orientation of the Ministry of Health does not go in this direction: there are no data that give certainty on the use of two different vaccines for the same subject. But the real problem, faced with yet another change of indications (AstraZeneca, at the beginning, was authorized only for the under 55s), is another: the distrust of those who must be vaccinated will increase, even those who are not part categories for which use may not be recommended.
AstraZeneca, in France cases of thrombosis and deaths: “Panic and cancellations in the north of the country”. Stop production in the USA
But why have other countries such as Germany, Canada, Norway, Holland and Denmark decided to reserve AstraZeneca only for the over 60s or even to suspend it? Background: the United Kingdom is using the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford without hesitation and has achieved excellent results, with a drastic reduction in deaths and infections. The Financial Times explains: «The UK regulatory agency announced that it has identified another 25 cases, bringing the number of events of the rare condition in Great Britain to 30, out of a total of 18.1 million people who have received AstraZeneca. , about one in 600,000. The Agency said seven people died ». In Norway 6 cases out of 120,000, in Germany 31 out of 2.7 million. According to German experts, the incidence of these events (without vaccinations) is normally 3 per 100,000 people in a year, 31 out of 2.7 million are an alarm bell because they are concentrated in two months.
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