In Vienna, a nurse died shortly after being vaccinated with AstraZeneca. Another hospital employee suffered a blood clot. Are complications the reasons why the Swedish-British vaccine has not yet been approved?
The AstraZeneca vaccine is not yet approved in Switzerland.
The authorities are hesitant for various reasons and want to wait for sufficient study data.
Deaths related to the vaccine made negative headlines.
The federal government must procure vaccine. In addition to the preparations from Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna, he has ordered 5.3 million vaccine doses from AstraZeneca. However, Swissmedic is taking its time with the approval of the Swedish-British vaccine, while it is already being used in countries such as Great Britain, Canada and the European Union.
The reasons for the hesitation are a lack of data on the effectiveness and side effects of the vaccine. At the beginning of February, Swissmedic said it was awaiting additional efficacy data from a Phase III study in North and South America.
After a 49-year-old nurse after a AstraZeneca vaccination died and a 30-year-old hospital worker is exposed to serious complications after the same vaccination, the Austrian authorities are taking measures. The specific delivery with which the two women were vaccinated is subject to a vaccination freeze. Various vaccinated people are also said to have complained about blood clotting disorders. In fact, all pharmaceutical companies emphasize again and again that side effects to all vaccinations – regardless of the virus – are a normal and even desirable reaction of the body.
Initially, AstraZeneca was not recommended for the elderly
The AstraZeneca agent showed a lower effectiveness of around 70 percent in studies, but is comparatively easy to use. However, the EU Medicines Agency (EMA) did not initially rule out the possibility that the drug would only be approved for certain age groups, as there was only little test data available for older people. With the vaccines from Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna, however, there is more reliable data on seniors. However, new data from Scotland and England should now show that the AstraZeneca vaccine works much better than previously thought. And: It also works very well for people over 70 years of age.
The advantage of AstraZeneca: It is cheap compared to other preparations. The vaccine has a different structure than the mRNA products from Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna. AstraZeneca is essentially based on the weakened version of a chimpanzee cold virus. It contains genetic material from a surface protein with which the Sars-CoV-2 pathogen docks onto human cells. As with the other vaccines, the body cells then produce the virus protein and develop an immune response against it.
The Swissmedic authority writes on its website: “If you notice signs or symptoms after a vaccination that could be a side effect, first of all contact the person who vaccinated or the doctor treating you. He has the necessary specialist information on the vaccine and can decide after an initial examination whether it is a side effect or rather complaints from another cause and can initiate appropriate measures. ” The specialist staff reports side effects or suspected cases to Swissmedic. Swissmedic has set up an online platform for this purpose.
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