A man is vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine in Italy
Photo: LUCA ZENNARO / EPA
After reports of blood clots after vaccination with AstraZeneca, the EU medicines agency Ema sees a causal relationship.
"We can now say that it is clear that there is a connection with the vaccine," said the chief strategist of the Ema vaccination department, Marco Cavaleri, in an interview with the Italian newspaper "Il Messaggero".
Several countries recently restricted the use of AstraZeneca.
The reason for this were cases of so-called sinus vein thromboses (blood clots in the cerebral veins), which were temporally related to a vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Following a recommendation from the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko), the federal government had also restricted the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine primarily to people aged 60 and over.
A small percentage of those vaccinated had developed sinus vein thrombosis 4 to 16 days after vaccination.
These are blood clots in the cerebral veins that, in severe cases, can lead to death.
Researchers at the University Medical Center Greifswald have published a study that is currently only available as a preprint, so it has not yet been checked by specialist colleagues.
They found that in many cases the blood clots were accompanied by a lack of platelets, called thrombocytopenia.
The scientists named an autoimmune reaction of the body as the basic cause of the thrombosis: They found special antibodies in the blood of those affected that were directed against the body's own blood platelets and clumped them together.
The use of the AstraZeneca vaccine had already been suspended in mid-March due to reports of blood clots in Germany and other European countries.
The Ema had then spoken out in favor of further, unrestricted use of the corona vaccine from AstraZeneca.
A connection with extremely rare, special thromboses cannot be ruled out.
However, this would be offset by significantly greater risks from Covid-19.
Benefit still outweighs risk
It is unclear whether the Ema will change this recommendation.
In the interview, Cavaleri said: “We can hardly deny that there is a connection between the vaccination and the thrombosis.
But we don't yet know exactly how this reaction is caused. «The cases are extremely rare and, in his opinion, the benefits of the vaccination outweigh the risks.
The exam at Ema has not yet been completed.
"But it is unlikely that we would recommend age limits for vaccination with AstraZeneca, as other countries have done."
kry / AFP