Coronavirus

Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine's Benefits Far Outweigh Risks, Say E.U. Regulators

The precautionary principle kills again.

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Several European countries recently paused vaccinating their citizens with the Oxford-AstraZeneca (AZ) COVID-19 vaccine, in light of scattered reports that a few patients had developed blood clotting after being inoculated. Meanwhile, the continent has been experiencing a third wave of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Now the European Medicines Agency has evaluated the risks and the benefits of being inoculated with the AZ vaccine. "The benefits of the vaccine in combating the still widespread threat of COVID-19 (which itself results in clotting problems and may be fatal) continue to outweigh the risk of side effects," it concludes. Furthermore, "The vaccine is not associated with an increase in the overall risk of blood clots…in those who receive it." The agency's Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee added that it "was of the opinion that the vaccine's proven efficacy in preventing hospitalisation and death from COVID-19 outweighs the extremely small likelihood of developing" blood clots.

The United Kingdom's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency notes that with 11 million doses of COVID-19 AZ vaccine administered so far, only five possible cases of blood clotting have been reported among the recipients.

One unfortunate side effect of the blood clot uproar will be a greater reluctance to get vaccinated with the AZ vaccine. Earlier this month, a Harris Poll in France found that just 43 percent of respondents trusted the AZ vaccine. A new poll by the Elabe Institute, published Tuesday, shows only 20 percent of the French people trusting the vaccine.

In his brilliant essay, "What is Seen and What is Unseen," the 19th century economist Frederic Bastiat pointed out that the favorable "seen" effects of any policy often produce many disastrous "unseen" consequences. Bastiat urges us "not to judge things solely by what is seen, but rather by what is not seen." Unfortunately, politicians in 16 European countries focused on the few "seen" blood clots while ignoring the "unseen" thousands of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths that timely vaccination could have averted.

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  1. these are the previously faulty prediction EU regulators, yes?

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  2. So, when do we get to analyze the failure of the lockdowns, masks, and social distancing in the context of the precautionary principle? Because, quite frankly, I had a lot of money riding on everyone in Sweden dying by mid-2020 and you can bet your ass that, unless I get some serious answers, I am taking it to court!

    1. That’s crazy talk. SARS-CoV-2 is the only danger in the world that is worthy of consideration.

      1. slow down, there are variants here and now and the vaccine isn’t effective against them. It’s time to octuple down.

        1. 4th wave!

  3. For whom? With a virus with such varying risk to different demographics, does it even make sense to make a blanket statement like this? I suppose if it’s risks are extremely minimal it could. For the old and sick the vaccine is clearly a big benefit. For younger, healthy people, I’m not so sure it is particularly ethical to push this new, relatively untested technology on everyone who has little to gain.

    1. “new, relatively untested” maybe. But 5 blood clots out of 11 million recipients is a crazy low level of risk. That’s not statistically distinguishable from the background rate of blood clots in the population at large over the same period.

      Based on the evidence available so far, yes the risks are “extremely minimal”.

      1. I would agree with that. I’m still in no rush to get it. See what else shakes out.

      2. Very comforting to those affected by the “extremely minimal” event.

        Why did you put it in quotes. Do you not believe it is extremely minimal?

      3. Yeah, because long term health problems can be evaluated in under 1 year. I can already hear the TV ads in the USA in 10 years…

        “Did you take one of the COVID-19 2020/2021 vaccines? You may be entitled to compensation” While the guinea pig alarmist suckers are raising children with lifelong disabilities.

        So yes, based on the very limited evidence available. And the evidence (or lack thereof) in the Pfizer leak. There is zero reason for people that are young and healthy to take the vaccine. It has a lower death rate for people under 55, that are not morbidly obese or have a preexisting severe raspatory problem than the flu. Quit pushing bunk without taking account all available evidence.

    2. For the old and sick the vaccine is clearly a big benefit. For younger, healthy people, I’m not so sure it is particularly ethical to push this new, relatively untested technology on everyone who has little to gain.

      Well, you’ll be delighted then to know that before the pause in administration, multiple European states (including France and Spain) were only allowing younger people to take the AZ vaccine.

  4. If it weren’t for regulators, how would we know what to do?

  5. Seems like a choice people could make for themselves. Of course, with medical experts and journalists beclowning themselves (at best) and discrediting themselves (at worst) over the past year, it’s difficult for the average euro-schlub to make a truly informed decision.

  6. >>Bastiat urges us “not to judge things solely by what is seen, but rather by what is not seen.”

    let’s talk about the 7.9 billion people who were never going to be affected beyond it’s a bad cold.

  7. The agency’s Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee added that it “was of the opinion that the vaccine’s proven efficacy in preventing hospitalisation and death from COVID-19 outweighs the extremely small likelihood of developing” blood clots.

    I believe the vaccine has also proven remarkably efficacious in preventing being eaten by tigers, but this varies somewhat by geographical demographics. If you’ve got an extremely small chance of being eaten by tigers in the first place, it may or may not outweigh the extremely small chance of developing blood clots.

  8. Yeah didn’t they also once believe that masks not required and that 2 million people would die in the US in 2020 of covid?

    Yup.

  9. This was a blip caused by a few isolated anecdotal events. They had to issue some kind of statement. The risk of a thromboembolic event is the same as if you had not gotten the vaccine.

    Thromboembolism is a known complication of Covid infection. A big one.

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370(20)30383-7/fulltext

    “COVID-19 morbidity and mortality continue to remain significant in parallel with rising infection rates. The pathophysiology of COVID-19 is still being understood. The disease is known to primarily affect the respiratory system but the involvement of other systems is not uncommon. Involvement of the vascular system in particular is thought to contribute significantly to morbidity and more importantly mortality. Of note is the increased risk of thromboembolism that is now known to be associated with COVID-19. There are a number of mechanisms thought to contribute to this elevated thromboembolism risk of COVID-19. Abnormally elevated levels of proinflammatory cytokines have been found in patients infected with the novel coronavirus [[52]]. The resultant increased systemic inflammation coupled with endothelial injury triggered by attachment of the virus to the angiotensin-2 receptor of the endothelial cells and viral replication leads to a prothrombotic endothelial dysfunction“

    So c’mon euros. Get the shot already.

    1. Hmmm…”a known complication”

      vs.

      “thought to contribute”

      “to be associated with”

      “thought to contribute”

      1. Seems like you just read my excerpt.

        1. I know how to read papers. When the abstract or discussion uses those kind of words/equivocation, the paper is not worth the weight of the electrons in the pdf.

  10. It is absolutely insane some have to die from the cure to save many more. Let’s say you take the vaccine and die from a blood clot. Will your family feel better knowing how incredibly rare it is?!? Better believe they will downplay any side effects. So how “rare” it is will never really be known.

    1. There is no evidence that the vaccine causes blood clots. It can cause allergic reactions but those can be easily treated.

      1. There is a well documented pattern of case/death rise after the vaccine has been distributed to an area. Short term increase on both followed by a drop in both. Nobody knows why, but there it is.

        1. That is interesting

  11. The United States plans to send roughly 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that it is not using to Canada and Mexico through loan deals with the two countries, the White House confirmed today.
    White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that a number of countries, including Canada and Mexico, have asked the U.S. for doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but those loan deals are still being worked out.
    https://worldabcnews.com/white-house-says-u-s-plans-to-send-1-5-million-doses-of-astrazeneca-vaccine-to-canada/

  12. The agency’s Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee added that it “was of the opinion that the vaccine’s proven efficacy in preventing hospitalisation and death from COVID-19 outweighs the extremely small likelihood of developing” blood clots.

    If I ever meet a member of the Phamacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee, it’s time to pack the kids and run!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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