The position of the Pancyprian Medical Association (PIS) is that there is no strong scientific evidence for the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine in people over 65 years of age, so the vaccine design needs to be redefined in order for this vaccine to be given to people under 65 years of age. , said to KYPE the President of the Pancyprian Medical Association (PIS) Petros Agathangelou.
He stressed that Cyprus must draw on the many years of experience of other European countries, which are clearly more advanced in the field of immunology and vaccination, and adapt, in this context, its strategic plans and management of vaccination coverage.
Dr. Agathangelou stated that during the meeting of the Advisory Scientific Committee he expressed views and concerns regarding the AstraZeneca vaccines.
“As a PIS, I raised concerns. In particular, I said that we may face a moral dilemma and we should manage it properly. “I said that the vaccine formulation should be based on the guidelines of the European Medicines Agency, which basically has its acceptance in this vaccine, in terms of effectiveness in those over 65 years old”, he noted.
The reservation about this vaccine, he said, is that there were not enough data to prove its effectiveness in the age group over 65 years.
The President of the PIS stated that the ethical response to the licensing of a vaccine is based on two pillars, safety and effectiveness. So, he noted, the scientific challenge is how to manage unsubstantiated effectiveness based on available scientific data.
He pointed out that European countries with extensive experience in immunology and vaccination and that had increased mortality in the elderly from COVID 19, changed their vaccination plans with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which should be of concern to us.
“If we have vaccines available, do those that are effective under the age of 65. It is a matter of how you administer vaccines based on scientific data and based on the criterion of availability “, he pointed out.
We as PIS, said Dr. Agathangelou, are the Supreme Scientific Body that makes positions while in any committees only opinions are expressed.
“At the moment we are concerned about the statements coming out of European countries regarding the risk of the effectiveness of this vaccine, the amount of which will be available to cover the maximum number of vaccinations in the population,” he added.