AstraZeneca (and probably J&J too) will not be administered to under 60s, so the plans of many countries change. Denmark permanently suspends AstraZeneca. EU-Pfizer agreement for 50 million new doses. The moves of France and Germany
It is not so much an Italian problem as it is international, but there is still a lot of uncertainty about vaccines, especially those of AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, both of which have ended up in the crosshairs of the American and European regulatory authorities. If for the Anglo-Swedish serum it was considered as a precaution to administer it only to citizens over 60 (net of the reminders to those under the age of 60 and who have already received the first dose and who, except for specific symptoms, will receive the second), i.e. those to be vaccinated more urgently, the US seems to go towards the same fate, which has the same pharmacological characteristics. The choice should not worry because vaccines are varied and at the moment all are safe and effective to protect the most vulnerable segment of the population, but the problem will be the after: millions of people, in Italy and in the world, will still have to be vaccinated. With what vaccines and with what timing?
In the scenario various news are chasing each other. The first is that the Denmark, the first European country to precautionary block the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine a month ago, has now decided to permanently suspend it, due to the possible (but very rare) links with cases of thrombosis. The decision will delay the vaccination program in the country by a few weeks (it was expected to close between July and August), also because Copenhagen has also paused the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to thrombosis risks. What happens in other countries? In Italy, the Government has changed the plan: the contracts for viral vector drugs will not be renewed (therefore AstraZeneca, J&J, but also Sputnik and the Italian ReiThera, valid for the over 60s) and from 2022, only Pfizer and Moderna will be used. The problem is, however, that vaccines such as the single-dose Johnson & Johnson, of which Italy expects 7.3 million doses by June, had to be used precisely for the second phase of the campaign, the one intended for the under 60s and in particular for the 55-60 range. years.
Precisely for this reason the European Commission itself accelerates on Pfizer. Ursula Von der Leyen announced an agreement for a new supply of vaccines, with 50 million additional doses delivered in the second quarter, starting in April. They will be distributed on the basis of the population of the various member countries. Germany for its part imposes a further tightening on AstraZeneca: while in Italy – for now – the references to the under 60s (for example a large part of the teaching staff, who have been vaccinated with the Anglo-Swedish drug) are safe, Berlin recommends to give those under 60 who have already taken the first dose of AstraZeneca (i.e. 2.2 million people) another booster vaccine. Instead, the attitude of the France, who decided to speed up with the doses already available also give AstraZeneca to people over 55.
In favor of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines there is another fact that has emerged in these hours: they would be able to protect against Covid-19 for at least nine monthsfood and drug administration (FDA) biological analysis research director Peter Marks said.