The European Medicines Agency (ESA) has ruled that the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine can cause unusual blood clots in the brain, but said the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks that you may keel over and croak.
Nothing quite says “We love you” more than government-run healthcare.
The committee said there had been 18 deaths reported in its review of 62 cases of CVST (a clotting in the sinuses that drain blood from the brain) and 24 cases of splanchnic vein thrombosis (in the abdomen) that were reported in an EU drug safety database. The cases came mainly from spontaneous reporting systems of the European Economic Area and the UK, where around 25 million people in total had received the vaccine, it noted.
If AstraZeneca’s vaccine is so safe, why hasn’t it been approved for use in the United States?
Few of us could ask for a dose of a vaccine, take it home, and test it to see if it works and that it’s safe. This is the government’s job and the EU — in the midst of another serious wave of Covid-19 infections — is desperate to get the virus behind them. They approved the AstraZeneca vaccine with inadequate testing and now they want to pass it off as “almost” foolproof.
A vast majority of people who are vaccinated will not sicken and die. But reports are coming in from all over Europe of the blood clots and other serious complications that have placed a cloud over the distribution of the vaccine.
The agency published its conclusion as the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency held a press conference on the same issue, five days after its weekly report confirmed at least 22 people had experienced CVST and at least eight cases of thrombosis events with low blood platelet counts, which is a relatively rare combination.
The EMA decision also follows a move in Germany, which last week suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in people under 60 years old after 31 reports of CVST. Twenty-nine of the 31 were women aged 20 to 63, and nine of the patients died, according to a Reuters report citing the country’s medicines regulator.
What to do about the blood clot problem? The ESA thought about it, debated it, and decided that it was enough just to add the blood clots and low platelet counts to the list of possible “side effects.”
“Side effects could include, headache, nausea, soreness, weakness…and death.”
EMA Executive Director Emer Cooke told a press conference Wednesday that the agency would add the clots and low platelet counts to its list of possible side effects from the vaccine, but added the safety committee “has confirmed that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing Covid-19 overall outweigh the risks of side effects” and that that EMA’s recommendations for use of the vaccine were not changing.
There are now three other vaccines on the market that don’t cause blood clots or low platelet count. There certainly haven’t been reports of nine deaths — although one or two deaths are still being looked at with the vaccines as a possible cause. By all metrics, the other vaccines available in the U.S. are superior in efficacy and safety.
It’s irresponsible for the EU to continue offering this vaccine to the general public, regardless of the “emergency.”