AstraZeneca vaccine: what will the ministers of health decide?

The ministers of public health are examining this Wednesday the different possible scenarios for the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine with the Superior Council of Health and the Vaccination taskforce.

Lhe health ministers meeting in an interministerial conference on Wednesday will consult on the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Belgium.

Both Germany and the Netherlands have decided to no longer administer the vaccine from the British-Swedish firm to people under the age of 60. New cases of serious side effects have been reported in patients who received the vaccine.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA), however, once again declared on Wednesday that the vaccine was safe and effective.

In Belgium, it is the turn of the Higher Health Council and the Vaccination taskforce to consult each other. “The ministers of public health are examining the different possible scenarios with the Higher Health Council and the Vaccination taskforce,” said the CSS on Friday. International developments are being followed closely and an update of the opinion on this vaccine is expected to be communicated next week.

This will not necessarily lead to a reversal of Belgium’s position, but, in the light of the report of the EMA security committee in particular, a “better founded” decision could be taken.

The EMA “has not yet reached a conclusion” on the AstraZeneca vaccine

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Tuesday it was still evaluating whether the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine is potentially linked to the formation of rare blood clots, which have been reported in several countries.

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The announcement comes hours after an EMA official mentioned the existence of a “link” between the AstraZeneca vaccine and cases of thrombosis observed after its administration, in an interview with the Italian daily Il Messaggero published on Tuesday.

The EMA security committee “has yet to come to a conclusion and the review is currently underway,” the Amsterdam-based agency told AFP in a statement.

“We will communicate and organize a press point as soon as the review is finalized,” added the European regulator, specifying that an announcement is currently expected Wednesday or Thursday.

European Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said on Twitter that “the evaluation was scheduled for Wednesday evening”, saying she was in “close contact” with the agency.

Marco Cavaleri, head of vaccine strategy at the EMA, said earlier that “it is clear that there is a link with the vaccine.”

The EMA announced on March 18 that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine continued to outweigh the risks and that its use remained safe, after several countries had suspended injections.

The agency explained, however, that there was a possible link to rare cases of blood clots, and that it would release updated advice at its safety committee meeting this week.

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