Social ministry official: We will not rush to change tactics

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Maris Jesse. Source: ERR

After the European Medicines Agency announced that blood clots are a very rare side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine, Ministry of Social Affairs Undersecretary Maris Jesse said the state would not change the recommendation to use the vaccine for people under the age of 60.

"Since elderly people have not had these rare, unsual blood clots, the Estonian immunoprophylaxis committee has made a recommendation to keep using the AstraZeneca vaccine on older people," Jesse said.

She noted that part of the confusion has come up because the state is pressured into making fast decisions. "We must still take some time for experts to think and for us to reach these common directives. Rushing things does not lead to good decisions, there will however be more confusion and nobody needs that," Jesse said.

She emphasized that the immunoprophylaxis expert committee recommends people continue with the AstraZeneca vaccine if they have already received one dose. "All people under the age of 60 should still go and get their second dose at the agreed upon times," Jesse said.

The social affairs ministry official said EU health ministers and the European Medicines Agency will form a common approach and directives for vaccine use in the near future.

"That is because it is necessary to prepare materials for patients and for healthcare to prepare to notice signs and symptoms of these unusual blood clots so doctors can help them as fast as possible," Jesse said.

On Wednesday, the European Medicines Agency said there is a "possible link" to "very rare" cases of blood clotting with the AstraZeneca vaccine but said it can still be used for all people over 18. The agency's statement can be read here.

Speaking at a press conference, government scientific council head Irja Lutsar said it has been confirmed there is a possible link with a thrombsis syndrome. Until more information is available, Estonia will not vaccinate people under 60 years old with the vaccine.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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