The Ministry of Health reaffirms its decision to vaccinate with Pfizer to those under 60 years of age who received the first dose of AstraZeneca and blames “a very serious communication problem” the “belief” that you can choose between one and the other, since, with this indication it seeks to “avoid one death for every million vaccinated” with the serum of the Anglo-Swedish company.
Health has confirmed four deaths after being vaccinated with AstraZeneca, with an average age of 43 years and there is a fifth case under study. “When a decision of this type is made, it is done in order to guarantee the benefit and as long as there is an alternative, and in Spain we had alternative vaccines to use,” Ministry sources have insisted, reiterating the importance of complying with the agreed decision. in the last Public Health Commission.
As they recalled, Health made the decision at the beginning of April to vaccinate with AstraZeneca only those over 60 years of age por the occurrence of “very rare” thrombotic events especially in younger people, following the example of other European countries such as France or Germany. In this sense, the Ministry has detailed that, in Spain, the number of cases of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia reported in the population aged 30 to 39 years is 14 cases per million; in 40-49, out of a total of 12 cases per million.
On the other hand, they have stressed that the preliminary results of the ‘CombiVacs’ clinical trial, launched by the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII), and which demonstrates the efficacy of a second dose of Pfizer after AstraZeneca, “it did not trigger the decision of the Public Health Commission”, but it is “an additional piece of information”, since the decision was made “fundamentally in view of the safety data”.
In this sense, they have clarified that the only question the study intended to answer is whether the administration of a vaccine with messenger RNA technology, as is the case with Pfizer, increased the immune response.
“What had been seen in the AstraZeneca clinical trial is that when the second dose is administered, the level of antibodies multiplies between 3 and 4 times, and with ‘CombiVacs’ it has been shown that it multiplies by 40, giving safety to the decision”. Nevertheless, recall that the study is missing “one arm”, that is, completing the trial with vaccinated with the two AstraZeneca guidelines.
Regarding the fact of being immunized with a heterologous scheme, from Health they transmit a message of tranquility and remember that it is not the first time it has been done with a vaccine, since “it is a fairly common practice, as with the Ebola vaccine, and in Spain with the meningococcus or pneumococcus, among others.”
Finally, they have clarified that in this context of “endemic virus”, which could remain for a few years and for which, therefore, booster doses would be needed, “It is not unlikely that many of the people vaccinated with adenovirus technology, such as AstraZeneca, receive vaccines from other platforms, such as messenger RNA or protein vaccine, such as Novavax.”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.