Friday, March 19, 2021

 The High Health Authority updated its recommendations on The AstraZeneca vaccine on Friday. It now calls for it to be reserved for people aged 55 and over.


The High Health Authority (HAS) gave the go-ahead on Friday (March 19th) to resume vaccination "without delay" with the doses of AstraZeneca, suspended for three days due to fears raised in particular by cases of blood clots formation. In a new opinion, however, it recommends that it be reserved for people aged 55 and over.

This vaccine was previously recommended for people aged 50 and over. This restriction was decided because the severe, and rare, bleeding disorders that had motivated the suspension of this vaccine in several European countries were only observed in under 55s, the French health authority said. There have been three cases in France, she added.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Thursday deemed the vaccine of the Anglo-Swedish laboratory "safe and effective", but "believes that the possibility of linking the vaccine with cases of disseminated intravascular clotting (bleeding disorder) and cerebral venous thrombosis (the formation of clots in the veins of the brain, NDLR) cannot be ruled out to date," has stressed.


"Very rare" but "serious" pathologies

These pathologies are "very rare" but "serious" and have "nothing to do" with the usual thrombosis such as phlebitis, explained Professor Dominique Le Guludec, president of the health authority, at a press conference.

As of 16 March, 25 cases have been reported in Europe, resulting in 9 deaths among under-55s "a majority of whom are women". In France, a case of disseminated intravascular clotting was observed in a 26-year-old woman, and two cases of "associated thrombopennias" - blood platelet deficiency - in a 51-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman. All in 1.4 million doses administered, according to the HAS.

While waiting for "additional data," under-55s will need to be vaccinated with other products, those with messenger RNA, she recommends.

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