UK-based health policy expert Elias Mosialos on Thursday recommended that Athens reach out to London on the way forward with its vaccination program given recent developments concerning the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Mosialos made his comments in an op-ed written for Kathimerini.gr following announcements of Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and after Wednesday’s press conference of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) pointing to a link between the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and rare cases of cerebral blood clots and low blood platelets.
Mosialos said the despite the connection between the vaccine and clotting, “both regulators confirm that the benefits of the vaccine in preventing Covid-19 generally outweigh the risks of side effects,” noting that detailed information has been published and posted on their respective websites.
Greece, he said, should:
1. Request that all clinical data of cases analyzed by regulators be made public.
2. Formally ask the government of Great Britain, which has amassed the largest volume of data on the vaccine, to publicize the information concerning the second dose of the vaccine. A clarification is needed on the lack of incidents after the second dose, as millions of Britons have already done both.
3. To implement, for the moment, the UK’s vaccination policy by recommending that the AstraZeneca vaccine is not administered to adults under the age of 30. This, of course, will – most likely – be a symbolic clarification, as those under 30 will not be vaccinated in the coming months. In essence, though, it will be a convergence with British policy.
“Personally, I still believe that the risk of thrombosis is extremely low and that the vaccine is safe and I will get the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in May,” Mosialos concluded.