In Germany, so far, seven people vaccinated with the Astrazeneca vaccine have received blood clots in the brain and developed a deficiency of platelets. That happened between four and sixteen days after they were vaccinated.
It concerns six women and a man between 20 and 50 years old. Three of them have died, according to data published by the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), the German Medicines Authority.
In Germany, around 1.6 million people have been vaccinated with the Astrazeneca vaccine. According to the PEI, this should have produced at most one case of this particular form of thrombosis in the brain.
Now that there are seven, according to the PEI, it is “not unlikely” that there is a connection between getting a “brain thrombosis” and the Astrazeneca prick. Whether these cerebral thromboses are actually the result of the vaccination is now being investigated, according to PEI on a German pharmacy site.
In Germany, according to correspondent Judith van de Hulsbeek, people are worried about the news and have many questions. “For example, they want to know if they are at risk if they have already been vaccinated with the Astrazeneca vaccine,” says Van de Hulsbeek. “For the people who took the shot more than two weeks ago, the PEI gave the signal safely.”
There is another feeling that she thinks prevails. “The infections in Germany are growing almost exponentially in the last few days. Since this form of thrombosis is so rare, seven cases out of 1.6 million vaccinations, many people wonder. “Shouldnt we just pierce?”
Too much uncertainty
According to Internist and Thrombosis Expert Saskia Middeldorp of the Radboudumc, it has been more cases in Germany than you would expect, but it cannot be said now that this is very suspicious. There is still too much uncertainty for that. “It can all be based on coincidence,” says Middeldorp.
Middeldorp is not yet convinced that there is a causal link between the vaccine and these seven thrombosed cases. “Also, this form of thrombosis, which is much rarer than a thrombosis in your leg or a pulmonary embolism, I see quite a few cases in my work every year.” Every year, she sees between ten and fifteen patients who have it, who have sometimes been referred specifically. Often they are young women. “In them it occurs most often.”
Denmark and Norway
Following some other European countries, the Netherlands temporarily stopped pricking Astrazeneca vaccine on Sunday. For the time being, the vaccine is not administered in the Netherlands until 28 March after six reports of potentially serious adverse reactions have been made in Denmark and Norway.
Those reports showed up after humans were vaccinated with the Astrazeneca vaccine. These are serious, rare signs of clot formation (thrombosis) in combination with a reduced platelet count (thrombocytopenia) in adults under 50 years of age, the College for Evaluation of Medicinal Products (CBG) states.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) conducted research and also looks at information from Germany. “We take all reports from Europe into account, including Germany,” says a spokesman for the agency. As long as the study is ongoing, the EMA remains of the opinion that the benefits of administering the vaccine outweigh the risks of side effects. Tomorrow, the agency is giving a press conference.
The CBG says that it is not yet able to deal with the substance of the cases in Germany. “All reports of possible adverse reactions, including thrombosis and thrombocytopenia, shall be carefully reviewed and evaluated by the EMA Monitoring Committee PRAC.”
The college wants to await the EMAs research into the cases of the disease. These reports are examined whether they are (or may) due to the vaccine or if there is another explanation for this. Here we look at the individual cases as well as any patterns.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) advises countries to continue to vaccinate people with the AstraZeneca vaccine for the time being. According to the WHO, the benefits for the time being outweigh the risks.