The two preparations Vaxzevria and Janssen have been approved for ages 18 and up, but are recommended by the Italian Medicines Agency for the over 60s. According to some studies in the lower age groups, with low virus circulation, the risks inoculation of a viral vector preparation may slightly outweigh the benefits
More than 39 million Italians have received at least one dose of vaccine and, among them, 13 million have completed the vaccination cycle. Some regions continue the immunization campaign against Covid also through specially dedicated open days during which not only Rna preparations (Pfizer and Moderna) are used, but especially those with viral vector, Vaxzevria by AstraZeneca and the single-dose Janssen by Johnson & Johnson. The two preparations have been approved for ages 18 and up but recommended by the AIFA for the over 60s. Some experts have expressed doubts about the administration of viral vector vaccines in some age groups. The debate is open. “With low viral circulation, the risks of AstraZeneca may be greater than the benefits in people under the age of 30,” he wrote for example.
The data on the risk and benefit ratio
According to another report from the University of Cambridge on AstraZeneca’s anti-Covid vaccine, with a scenario of low circulation of the virus, the benefits clearly outweigh the risks in the 60-69 age group, while in the 20-29 age group. the risks become slightly higher than the benefits. Looking at the data provided by the EMA at the current levels of circulation of Covid, equal to 375 cases per 100 thousand people in a month, the hospitalizations in intensive care avoided with the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine to subjects in the age group between 20 and 29 years are 3 per 100 thousand, while cases of rare thrombosis are 1.9 per 100 thousand.
Vaccines for young people and over 60s
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Not all regions organize open days, in Lombardy for example they don’t. Campania, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Umbria are those that have administered the largest number of doses to young people between 20 and 29 years, covering respectively 26.1%, 21.8% and 21.3% of this range. of population. In this ranking, which also includes the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano, the latter has already reached 30.3% while Lombardy is at 20.7%, Sicily at 20.3% and Basilicata at 20%. . The governor Massimiliano Fedriga however explained that, following the recommendations of Aifa, in Friuli Venezia Giulia AstraZeneca and J&J are inoculated only to the over 60s. % are still unvaccinated, while 45.6% have received only one dose.
The letter from the 24 vaccinating doctors of Genoa
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To initially express doubts about viral vector vaccines on some age groups were 24 vaccinators from Genoa who, through a letter, sided against the open days for young people with AstraZeneca “because the administration of this vaccine to subjects under 40 years, especially of female sex, could entail more risks than benefits, although rarely causing life-threatening complications “. The appeal came after the case of the 18-year-old suffering from thrombosis. The young woman had AstraZeneca’s anti-Covid vaccine on May 25 on an open day and is hospitalized in Genoa.
Family doctors: “Focusing on the quality of vaccination”
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“Vaccinating in the offices of family doctors to focus on the quality of vaccination, administered by a doctor who knows the patient well, and not on the quantity” is the ideal solution according to Silvestro Scotti, national secretary of the Federation of medical doctors general (Fimmg), who in Adnkronos Salute, comments on the letter of the 24 vaccinating doctors. “I do not agree with these positions – adds Scotti -. Today for all vaccines, without exception, the risk-benefit calculation is always in favor of vaccines. But I believe that vaccination in our studies is the quality choice to be undertaken”. Instead “the open days continue to go in the direction of quantitative vaccination compared to the qualitative one we propose, that is the possibility of bringing it back to a medical procedure”.
Viola: “It is wrong to propose these vaccines to young people”
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Clear the position of Antonella Viola, immunologist, professor of general pathology in Padua with regard to the preparations of AstraZeneca and J&J. “It is very wrong – he tells Corriere della Sera – to propose these vaccines to young people, especially women. I have always been convinced that they should not be given to people under the age of 55 “. According to the immunologist” to have no doubts. just read a work published in the journal Science where it explains how as you get older the risks of receiving these vaccines far outweigh the benefits. On the other hand, in younger people the danger of having serious consequences due to Covid is very low. This is why France has decided to limit the two viral vector vaccines to people over 55 “.
The Luca Coscioni association writes to the government
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Concerns were also expressed by the Luca Coscioni association, which wrote a letter to the government and the commissioner for the Covid emergency against the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for young people. “The initiative of the AstraZeneca open days – writes the association – seems to be motivated by good intentions and is enjoying great success, but it is not in the best interest of young people”. According to the association “in subjects under 30 who do not have comorbidities, the lethality for Covid-19 in Italy is close to zero and hospitalization is very rare, while the risk of thrombocytopenic venous thrombosis for them exceeds the benefit of the vaccine, and is sufficient to advise against vaccination with AstraZeneca, in accordance with Aifa recommendations “.