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Several European nations suspend use of Astra-Zeneca vaccine


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Denmark, Norway, Iceland and several other countries temporarily suspended the use of vaccine while investigation of several cases of blood clots is ongoing.

Health authorities of these countries clearly explained the rationale for their decisions.

Not going to discuss the vaccines that is a complex scientific matter. I have a different question though: where are Canada's experts" in this matter?

Right now, when their knowledge and expertise is needed where can it be found, apart from routine preachings on public health measures and the number of layers in the masks etc?

As it was needed in the early days of the pandemics a year back? Will we hear another cheerful "not a problem!" and expert fingers crossed that it'll fix itself somehow and all can go back to managing pension plans?

Two decades past the first calls of SARS-1 the signs are very clear that the bureaucratic system has successfully progressed from the state of limited efficiency to clear mediocrity. The objective these days is not to do it best and first but some time and anyhow. And the next frontier will be: a failure. Or a disaster. Just logical and practical progression. And the only direction a mediocre bureaucratic system void of any, forget effective, at all, quality checks and connections to the reality can evolve.

Public hospital CEO salary is over $300,000. Public is asked to donate to keep the hospital running. Something here I can't quite figure out, sorry.

So it wouldn't come as a surprise. It's been a while in coming.

Edited by myata
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I was given the AZ vaccine yesterday, aware of the risks before I went in, and they were explained again before actually jabbed.  Once again I see misinformation spread on this forum by right-win

Interesting how people will happily take prescription drugs (and some over counter drugs) with lists of possible side effects as long as your arm (some of them fatal) then balk at a vaccine that has s

I don't think the rational around AstraZeneca hesitancy is particularly a left right thing, It's a lack of perspective thing.

Remember Kafka? Ok but these days we don't need his fictional stories because we have our very own CRA. Imagine one day you send a tax return with $17,000 hard earned coffee shop worker income and in a while receive the assessment with $8 million tax due and over $200,000 in interest. For some reason, the system thought that it's owed millions and decided, in the fullness of rights appointed by citizens to go ahead and collect it.

We would want to think that this is an isolated episode and the error was eventually corrected. We very much want to think that today, in 2021, after travel from Wuhan and the Phoenix system but a generation back, in the 1990-s there were episodes like Dr. Charlie Smith's "shaken baby" expertise and psychiatric torture "hospital" and everybody wanted to believe those were isolated episodes in a system that does not have, to this day, and never had in 150 years neither working instruments, nor a tradition of transparency and responsibility to the citizens.

What surprises and miracles are we expecting here?

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Posted (edited)

Netherlands the latest country to temporarily suspend the use of vaccine. The matter is complex, as I understand it, at issue is not the number of cases that is low, but a short duration from the shot to a blood clot event and competent professionals (not necessarily equivalent to experts" in the TV) must look carefully and understand these cases.

And this brings to the fore another interesting question (and how would we have noticed, should it not be for the pandemics?): what is the responsibility of the media and information services in these situations? Is it to inform the public, first and foremost? Or keep things under the tabs to avoid unnecessary concerns? Many international and national news services including BBC; Guardian; Deutsche Welle and many others have reported this matter, with additional informative commentary.

In Canada, I have yet to see a single report, in approximately a week the story has been developing. Interesting, and I think we have the answer right here: what if we have already arrived?

Edited by myata
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21 minutes ago, Aristides said:

It's been over a week by now, but sure. Some media freedom still exists in this country. Like in China, it was keep under the hood for almost a month!

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2 hours ago, OftenWrong said:

That can almost be expected the way these noxious potions were developed in such great haste, in a darkened, underground labore.

 

 

Problems can be expected in a new and unknown field but if we don't ask questions how would we find answers? And maybe we forgot how to ask. Or maybe don't care to. And maybe it'll work out somehow. Maybe.

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3 hours ago, myata said:

Problems can be expected in a new and unknown field but if we don't ask questions how would we find answers?

I don't see anything new here. Viruses have been around for a long, long time. People have worked with infected patients and used vaccines for like, centuries man.

Edited by OftenWrong
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Canada is expected to announce we will give AZ to our elderly after all. This comes at the same time as about a dozen countries have cancelled use of it entirely, for all ages due to reports of people developing blood clots and unusual symptoms, and died.

 

But it's only a small percentage of those who take the vaccine that die, so it's ok.

 

 

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The first report of suspension of a batch of vaccine in Austria came on March, 8.

Over the period till now about ten countries in Europe and Asia temporarily suspended the use of the vaccine, completely or partially.

Today (8 days later), the news appeared on CBC. Yesterday (7 days) it was on some other news channels in Canada.

In the end of 2019, it took close to a month for the news of Covid epidemics to break out in China. Population of China: 1,400 million. Per capita undesirable news propagation rate, in China: approximately 2% per day. Everyone can do the math.

There's so much new we learn, forget the virus, about ourselves from this situation. Who could have thought? And would anyone even care to learn anyways?

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7 hours ago, OftenWrong said:

But it's only a small percentage of those who take the vaccine that die, so it's ok.

It's a win-win (sorry to say that). If the link not confirmed told you so. If it is, oops screwed up (again). But what would be the responsibility for another screw up (travel from Wuhan long-term care Ontario registration system etc) and who's responsible? None and nada. But look how cute we are and we're such a great experts so here's what YOU need to do ... (and so on).

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In some media stories today the issue is positioned as "politics against vaccines". That makes me seriously doubting, do they genuinely fail to grasp what's at stake or just the entire notion of critical thinking is leaving this geographic space in general and whatever correct narrative of the day must be the final truth (for the day)?

In Germany there's the world-renown Koch institute. German scientists are co-inventors of one of the most effective Covid vaccines. Can we or anyone imagine that they were not consulted with before the decision was made? Can anyone imagine that if the scientists stated with confidence that there was no problem, politicians, in the heat of the pandemics, overruled their professional opinion? In any reasonable view this seems highly unlikely.

But what if the scientists said, we need to look closely and understand this? If there were only a handful of cases with very short interval between the shot and the effect, anyone with even remote relation to science or just plain common sense would say that these cannot be just dismissed and needed to be examined. And then, it's up to the politicians how to handle this interim interval until confident conclusion can be reached.

Some, given the past experience and the stakes would prefer the position of caution. Others, the correct truth of the day. To each, their own. And we can observe. This, after all, is a pandemics of revelations.

Edited by myata
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Posted (edited)

EU drug safety agency concluded today that "vaccine's benefits outweigh the possible risks".

However, the director Emer Cooke said the watchdog "could not definitively rule out a link between blood clot incidents and the vaccine in its investigation into 30 cases of a rare blood clotting condition".

The agency will update its guidance for patients and health-care professionals to include an explanation about potential risks.

Interestingly, EU countries that temporarily suspended the use of vaccine will make decisions based on national investigations. No automatic "not a problem!" because WHO told us so. Could it be because those are the national, not WHO institutions? Interesting.

Also because no one seem to have noticed the matter here, I wonder if we could count on the explanation of potential risks to be available during vaccinations?

Edited by myata
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The evidence linking AZ vaccine to blood clots is weak.
 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/15/evidence-oxford-vaccine-blood-clots-data-causal-links

Normally, caution is warranted by governments when an issue like this is raised but these are not normal times. I would happily take an AZ vaccine today if I could. 

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12 hours ago, SpankyMcFarland said:

The evidence linking AZ vaccine to blood clots is weak.

I'm sure it's more complex than that default argument, as the matter can be not only in the general statistics but also the interval between the shot and the reaction. For example, there can be rare conditions in the general population in which these effect could be more frequent and severe. The job of a responsible professional is to fully understand these conditions and make appropriate corrections. Many European countries including EU health regulator have done just that.

On the other hand "these are not normal times" and so everything goes. Travel from Wuhan? - who cares and not a problem!

And that's exactly how we know.

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Just as said, responsible and competent professionals will be able to get to the substance of the matter. Not just "politics against vaccines". "Two teams of medical researchers in Norway and Germany have independently found that the vaccine could trigger an autoimmune reaction causing blood to clot in the brain." WSJ

Or travel from Wuhan and "politics". To each, their own. What they ordered, and paid for.

 

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The problem is, quite obviously, the disconnect of responsibility. There's been no responsibility, neither individual or institutional for "travel from Wuhan", eighteen years after the failure of SARS-1. And will anyone answer for addressing a potentially life matter for some people as "just politics" in this case?

This has been the pandemics of discoveries and it's becoming increasingly clear that the system is past the point where it cares and caters mostly to its own priorities and interests. While US vaccinates a Canada every month, and UK has done it already the current rate in Canada is just over 10%. The numbers don't like.

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On 3/20/2021 at 9:00 AM, myata said:

I'm sure it's more complex than that default argument, as the matter can be not only in the general statistics but also the interval between the shot and the reaction. For example, there can be rare conditions in the general population in which these effect could be more frequent and severe. The job of a responsible professional is to fully understand these conditions and make appropriate corrections. Many European countries including EU health regulator have done just that.

On the other hand "these are not normal times" and so everything goes. Travel from Wuhan? - who cares and not a problem

And that's exactly how we know.

I never said everything goes. However, we are in the middle of a pandemic that has already wreaked enormous damage, directly through the disease it causes and indirectly through the disruption of healthcare and our economy. David Spiegelhalter’s actual job title at Cambridge includes the public understanding of risk so I think we can assume he’s aware of the complexities here. AZ’s documentation could have been better but there are risks with every treatment one takes. One has to balance costs and benefits and, so far, I think the evidence is in favour of taking the vaccine. As I said, I would be more than happy to take this vaccine today if I could. 

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1 hour ago, SpankyMcFarland said:

I never said everything goes. However, we are in the middle of a pandemic that has already wreaked enormous damage,

And I was only trying to say that for some perhaps a small group, access to this information can be not just a question of general statistics, but a matter of life. Competent scientists in Germany and Norway established that the vaccine can cause immune reaction and the question is, how would someone know about it, perhaps with a history of a related condition, if the media in this country all but ignored this and when/if mentioned, all but dismissed it to "politics"?

EU regulator required this information to be available NOW. But will it happen in this country? Or Heavens forbid, in some years we'll have another multi-million public inquiry on how not to handle critical public health issues?

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As soon as it was clear there's a real problem free things should have been done: 1) inform public clearly and timely (Germany, Norway etc have done it) 2) make information on possible side effects immediately available to all healthcare practitioners, 3) inform the patient before vaccination and if possible, offer alternatives (in case of justified concerns).

None, ? and none, almost a month on.

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2 hours ago, Aristides said:

Britain has now reported 30 cases. Thirty cases out of 18.1 million doses. That's a 0.000167% chance of getting a clot.

It’s a very small risk but a basic principle of medicine is primum non nocere, first do no harm. A brain clot is an extremely serious harm. Presumably, the frequency of less severe and sub-clinical clots is much higher. There’s a lot of grey in such decisions. On the pro-AZ side, here is the opinion of a physician who described a large series of such cases:

Quote

Dr. Andreas Greinacher led the team that discovered the link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a rare blood clotting disorder, but he wants people to know the risk of developing the clots is low.

Greinacher found that in some patients, the AstraZeneca vaccine was triggering antibodies that set off a platelet response. That means the the antibodies made the platelets, small blood cells that help form clots to stop bleeding, behave as though they were treating a wound and trigger clotting.

Quote

While he said it is not up to him who is approved for the vaccine and who isn’t, he doesn’t think stopping vaccinations is the right decision.

“It would be dangerous to stop vaccination, only because of the fear, for a very rare adverse event,”he said.

Thinking about the dangers we face each day, driving a car on a busy highway, riding a bicycle in major cities, they are far greater risks than the clotting issue associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, he said.

“Running down the road with a motorcycle is by far, far, far more dangerous than getting the vaccine,” he said. “Take 1.4 million motorcycle riders, let them drive two weeks, how many severe accidents, you will see.”

For a medical comparison, he points to the use of the blood thinning medication heparin in hospitals. There are people who suffer adverse reactions to heparin, similar to the reaction to the AstraZeneca vaccine, but to stop using it altogether would be catastrophic.

Greinacher said that to stop the use of the clotting treatment in hospital would result in many more deaths due to fatal embolisms and other clot-related complications.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/what-the-doctor-who-found-the-link-between-blood-clots-and-the-astrazeneca-vaccine-wants-you-to-know-1.5370015

 

Here is the report by Greinacher. 9 patients in this series of blood clots or VIPIT (vaccine induced prothrombotic immune thrombocytopenia) after AZ vaccine: 8 females, 1 male. 4 died.
 

A Prothrombotic Thrombocytopenic Disorder Resembling Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia Following Coronavirus-19 Vaccination

Edited by SpankyMcFarland
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