The AstraZeneca vector vaccine is only recommended for people over 60 years of age in Germany. The reason: In individual cases, cerebral vein thromboses occurred in younger women after the vaccinations. A new study now indicates that people over the age of 60 have an increased risk of cerebral vein thrombosis after vaccination with AstraZeneca. Is the vaccination recommendation of the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) now in question?
The study published by the German Society for Neurology (DGN) found that sinus and cerebral vein thromboses occur nine times more frequently after vaccination with AstraZeneca than after vaccination with an mRNA vaccine. Women are therefore three times more likely to be affected than men. The study was published as a preprint, so it still has to be checked by other experts and scientists.
In its study in April, the DGN called on all neurological clinics in Germany to report all cerebral vein thromboses, strokes and cerebral hemorrhages that occurred in the affected people within one month of a corona vaccination. As a result, 62 vaccination-related cases were reported to the DGN. Vein thrombosis occurred in 45 of them. The median age of the affected patients was 47 years.
Risk after infection ten times higher
Of the 62 reported cases, 53 were related to AstraZeneca and nine were after vaccination with Biontech’s vaccine. According to calculations by a team from the Charité University Medical Center, sinus and cerebral vein thromboses occurred three times more often in women under 60 years of age after an AstraZeneca vaccination.
However, the study’s calculations also showed that the risk of cerebral vein thrombosis after an AstraZeneca vaccination is almost as high in women over the age of 60 as in younger patients. While there were 24.24 cases per 100,000 observed persons per year among women under 60 years of age, the figure was 20.52 among women over 60 years of age.
However, the doctors give the all-clear in the study: “We think that the AstraZeneca vaccine is associated with a very low risk of cerebral sinus and vein thrombosis in men. Although more cases of thrombotic events occurred in women of all age groups, the rate was still very low in view of the many millions of inoculated doses, ”says Prof. Diener, press spokesman for the DGN. “When weighing up, it must also be taken into account that the risk of sinus vein thrombosis is increased by a factor of 10 in the case of a Covid 19 infection, the disease relatively often leads to thrombotic events with fatal consequences, the vaccination only extremely rarely,” it says further.
Study authors hope for clarification
However, the actual numbers could be even higher. Not all neurological clinics have shared their data with the DGN. Sometimes the patients are also treated in other departments, which means that they were not recorded. Affected people who died before treatment were also not included in the study. It is now also known that after vaccination, thrombosis can occur not only in the brain but also in other parts of the body.
However, the study authors also want to make it clear that they do not want to stir up panic with their results. “We are not questioning the vaccination, nor the AstraZeneca vaccine, but we think that all people, especially women, should be informed about this risk before the vaccination, especially with regard to which symptoms they should look out for afterwards have ”, explains Prof. Christian Gerloff, President of the DGN.
Stiko member Rüdiger von Kries sees no evidence in the study of an increased risk in people over 60. Accordingly, only a few cases in the age group over 60 were evaluated in the study. In addition, according to the age recommendation for AstraZeneca, reports of cerebral vein and other thromboses have also declined, justifies Kries in the “Spiegel”. “If there were more cases in women over 60, we would have to see them,” said the Stiko member.