AstraZeneca: four Greek experts talk about second dose and side effects

After the creation of the Vaccination Committee, responsible for administering the AstraZeneca vaccine only to citizens over 60 years of age, this issue has become the subject of close scrutiny by experts.

The professors analyze the reasons why the National Committee made this decision and explain what to do to those who have already received the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine.

The General Secretary of Primary Health Care, Marios Themistokleous, speaking on SKAI 100.3 radio station, said that this is a recommendation, there is no prohibition.

The expert explained that all EU-20 countries recommend a second dose of the same vaccine if there has been no case of thrombosis. Moreover, as noted, the likelihood of thrombosis when receiving the second dose is negligible. According to the specialist, AstraZeneca is still a good vaccine and emphasizes that this is the recommendation of the National Vaccination Committee.

Alcibiades Vatopoulos, professor of microbiology at the University of West Attica, speaking on SKAI, noted that at the time when the platform for vaccination only AstraZeneca for the 30-45 year old group was opened, there may not have been a large availability of other vaccines, because the goal was to maximize quickly vaccinate the population.

Mr Vatopoulos said that if a person under the age of 60 has already made an appointment for the AstraZeneca vaccine, they can replace it with another vaccine. However, for citizens who had their first vaccine with AstraZeneca, he recommended a second dose of the same vaccine, stressing that the likelihood of thrombosis from a second dose of AstraZeneca, according to UK authorities, is 1 in 1,000,000.

Among other things, the professor of microbiology said that the possibility of combining vaccines is being studied, since it is not yet clear whether the immune response is the one that is required.

Panagiotis Panagiotopoulos, an epidemiologist and expert committee member, speaking on ANT1 regarding the problems caused by the recommendation of the AstraZeneca vaccine for the elderly, stressed that choosing a different vaccine for the second dose is not recommended for those who have already been vaccinated with a single dose of AstraZeneca.

“The suggested recommendations are not only about the risk of the vaccine, but also about the risk of disease,” he stressed, noting that side effects from a second dose are very rare.

“We know side effects are rare. But we weigh the risks: getting sick with Covid or the occurrence of side effects, ”said Mr. Panagiotopoulos and added that in recent months, thanks to the vaccine, dozens of lives have been saved.

President of the Association of Doctors of Athens-Piraeus Hospitals Matina Pagoni, in an interview with ANT1, asked for the immediate intervention of the President of the Vaccination Committee, Maria Theodorida, so that she could give clear explanations regarding the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, explaining that those “who did not have any problems with the first dose of the vaccine, there is nothing to fear, because statistics show that it is extremely rare to have side effects after the second dose. “

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