AstraZeneca and blood clots: The Netherlands will stop vaccination under the age of 60

The Netherlands explains for people under 60 years of age Immediately after a similar decision in Germany earlier this week, vaccinations with the AstraZeneca vaccine come to a standstill. The immediate cause in the Netherlands is five reports of blood clots in women between the ages of 25 and 65.

The uncertainty surrounding the side effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine therefore remains. Last month, dozens of cases of blood clots were reported in Europe, causing some panic. In many countries, vaccinations with AstraZeneca have been temporarily suspended. In the analysis of the data, several countries concluded that blood clots / thrombosis occurred in younger patients.

The European Medicines Authority EMA concluded after an investigation that there is a ‘very rare’ risk of blood clotting problems, on average 8.5 days after vaccination, and is currently investigating the link between these cases and the vaccine. But for the European Medicines Agency, the relationship between risks and benefits is still predominantly favorable.

Yet several countries, including Germany and now the Netherlands (under 60) and France (under 50), have banned the vaccine for ‘younger’ age groups. In fact, the United States is considering not using the vaccine at all, albeit for different reasons.

British research

The UK government has updated its data on the corona vaccines in a weekly report. The difference between the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines in blood clot rates and side effects is remarkable, according to the British, even though the benefit-risk balance for both vaccines remains ‘mostly favorable’, according to the UK health agency.

What exactly does the UK data tell us? Of the 18.1 million doses that AstraZeneca has administered, the British government reports 22 cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) and 8 cases of rare blood clots (disseminated intravascular coagulation). This is very little, of course, but the government notes that no such cases have been diagnosed with Pfizer’s vaccine.

For side effects (headache, chills, fatigue, nausea, fever, dizziness, weakness, muscle pain and fast heart rate), approximately 3-6 cases have been reported per 1,000 doses administered since March 21, 2021. But here too there is a difference between the two vaccines. 40,883 cases of adverse reactions on 10.8 million doses of Pfizer administered (3.7) versus 99,817 cases on 15.8 million doses of AstraZeneca (6.3).

To the UK authorities, these adverse reaction data are in line with clinical trials and “not uncommon when compared to other types of commonly used vaccines.” The report concludes that “based on current experience, the benefits of both vaccines in preventing Covid-19 and its serious complications far outweigh the known side effects.”


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