AstraZeneca: six cases of blood problems in Belgium, only 0.0002% in all of Europe insists Vandenbroucke

“These cases were reported recently, after concerns were raised in various countries of the European Union, although they occurred before the recent media coverage”, specifies the FAMHP.

The Federal Medicines Agency points out that every year several thousand people in the European Union develop blood clots for various reasons. “The incidence of thromboembolic events in vaccinated people does not appear to be generally higher than in the general population,” she adds.

The FAMHP calls on people who think they may have an adverse effect following a vaccination to report it (via the website www.notifieruneffetindesirable.be).

Belgium decided on Monday to continue the vaccination campaign with the vaccine from the Anglo-Swedish group AstraZeneca, even though most of its neighbors in the European Union (France, the Netherlands, Germany, etc.) have chosen to suspend the use of this vaccine, after several reports of blood disorders. While no formal causal link has been established at this stage between these serious side effects and the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine, a dozen European countries have decided to suspend its use, pending clarification and of an evaluation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which is due to take a decision on Thursday at an extraordinary meeting.

Although the evaluation is in progress, the EMA and the FAMHP currently maintain their opinion that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the prevention of Covid-19, with the associated risk of hospitalization and death. outweigh the risks of adverse effects.

Frank Vandenbroucke reassures

Of the 17 million people who received a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Astrazeneca in Europe and the United Kingdom, only 15 developed deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and 22 developed pulmonary embolism (PE), or 0 0002% of cases, recalled Tuesday Frank Vandenbroucke in the Health committee of the House.

This is less than the 0.009% initially feared. Questioned by deputies, the Minister of Public Health once again defended Belgium’s position to continue vaccination with the Astrazeneca vaccine, unlike neighboring countries.

“We followed a very clear advice from the specialized sub-group of the Superior Health Council (CSS). On the basis of this advice, we decided to maintain the vaccination. And this is still the position of the European health agency. drugs. The balance of risk requires continuing the vaccination campaign. “

In general, “a thromboembolic event is a frequent pathology”, developed Frank Vandenbroucke. “Each year in Europe, there are 44 events per 100,000 inhabitants among 18-24 year olds and 2,055 cases per 100,000 inhabitants among those over 80.”

“In Belgium, 6 cases of thromboembolic events occurring after vaccination have been reported”, continued the minister. “We need to report this data to the European level to make a concrete assessment.” “But thrombosis is a common pathology for covid patients,” he added. “According to a recent study, 21% of people who have had covid have experienced a thromboembolic complication. Covid is a real danger! And the vaccine protects against this danger,” he concluded.

“I regret this chain reaction. This is not good. I said this to the European Council of Health Ministers.

Some countries had, last week, stopped the use of certain very specific batches, which they suspected to be problematic. Austria was the first to decide, on March 8, after the death of a nurse who had a bleeding problem. Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Italy, France, Ireland, the Netherlands and even Germany, among other European countries, have meanwhile suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine. In Belgium, it was therefore decided to continue vaccination.

A first report from the vigilance committee of the European Medicines Agency is expected on Thursday.

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