Covid-19: Most under 60s who received AstraZeneca’s first vaccine choose to repeat vaccine for second dose | Society
The Spanish Ministry of Health’s plan to offer essential workers under the age of 60 the choice of their second dose of Covid-19 vaccine is not working as expected.
This group received AstraZeneca for their first injection several months ago now, but the process was put on hold after the drug was linked to rare cases of blood clots. After a study by the Carlos III Health Institute in Madrid, the ministry and regions agreed to offer people a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine – or AstraZeneca if they preferred it and were ready to sign on. an informed consent form.
But the first people who went for their second injection mostly follow the advice of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and choose to repeat the AstraZeneca.
The data is still preliminary, as few regions have entered this second phase for the group, which includes teachers, police and health workers. In Murcia, according to the regional health department, 90% of the 5,000 people who went for their second vaccine chose the Anglo-Swedish vaccine, although they had to sign the consent form. In Galicia, the regional government has launched a telephone survey to find out what people prefer and start preparing the doses. So far 87% have responded saying they would like to stick with AstraZeneca. Andalusia, meanwhile, reported that 99% of people did the same.
“We thought about it until the last minute and in the end we went with Pfizer given the problem of blood clots and because it has better coverage,” explained María (not her real name). who was in line on Wednesday. at the Gines sports center in Seville to get his second dose. Of the 164 teachers who did the same, only four in total opted for Pfizer, according to data provided by local health authorities.
“From the start, I had no doubts that the second dose had to be AstraZeneca,” Carmen García explained on the same site. After having his second stroke, Professor Yeray Recio expressed the same opinion as his colleague. “The safety effects of the second dose of the same vaccine are supposedly better,” she explained. “The regional government distributed materials presenting the pros and cons in schools.”
Some countries, such as the UK, have chosen to give the second dose of AstraZeneca, according to the manufacturer’s guidelines and the advice of the EM – but only to those over 30 years of age. The risk of blood clots is even lower – one in a million – among those who received the first vaccine without any problems. Other countries, such as Germany and France, have also chosen to administer Pfizer as a second dose.
Yesterday in Seville, many of those who showed up for their second photo said they did not find it necessary to sign the consent form – in Andalusia it is not mandatory. “I didn’t do it for the first dose, and if I’m here voluntarily for the second vaccine, I don’t see why I should do it now,” said Victoria, a teacher who chose not to disclose her. Last name. Domingo García and Alfonso León said the same thing. “We don’t see the need to sign, because it’s all in the computer system, which ends up serving the same purpose,” they argued.
Another common sentiment expressed among the 164 teachers at the Gines vaccination site on Wednesday was that of relief after being left in limbo for so long as health officials made their decision. “Finally, we’ve gotten rid of all that uncertainty,” said Carmen García, who received her first injection of AstraZeneca three months ago, which means the second dose arrived just in time according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. .
The process for this group will restart soon in the rest of Spain. In the Basque Country, appointments have been made for Pfizer photographs. If people choose to reject them, they will have to communicate their decision to the regional health department and they will be put on a waiting list. There will be no guarantee that they will receive the second dose 12 weeks after the first. Today, Catalonia and Galicia will join this group, while the rest of the Spanish territories will do so from next week.
With reporting by Sonia Vizoso, Mikel Ormazabal, Juan Navarro, Isabel Valdés, Bernat Coll, Lucía Bohórquez, Guillermo Vega, Isabel Valdés, Lucía Tolosa and Ferrán Bono.
English version by Simon hunter.