In Italy, the government’s decision on the “cocktail vaccine” created controversy

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The government’s decision to mix the vaccines comes after some people developed unusual blood clots after the AstraZeneca vaccine, and an 18-year-old died of a clot earlier this month after receiving the vaccine.

On the recommendation of the Scientific Technical Committee, the government decided on June 11 that the AstraZeneca vaccine should only be administered to people over 60 years of age. With this decision, the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine began to be given to people under the age of 60 who had already received the first dose of AstraZeneca.

The Italian Medicines Agency also approved the vaccine mix last week, following the government’s decision, on the basis of “clinical studies published in recent weeks”.

Approximately 1 million people under the age of 60 who receive the first dose of AstraZeneca in Italy are expected to be affected by this application. However, due to concerns that the possible effects of the vaccine mixture are not clearly known, news started to arrive that some people did not make it to their second dose vaccination appointment.

Matteo Salvini, the leader of the far-right League party, which is part of the coalition government with a large turnout, said one had to be careful and said: “Mixing vaccines is not like mixing cocktails. “

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Vincenzo De Luca, regional president of Campania, whose capital is Naples, also reacted and said they would not mix vaccines in his own region. De Luca then joined the practice of mixing vaccines, but criticized the government for creating “communication chaos” in the vaccination campaign.

Immunologist Alberto Mantovani, scientific director of the Humanitas Research Institute in Milan, told RaiNews this morning: “There is little data on the use of different vaccines, but experiments are underway. . It makes sense to think about getting a good immune response. Mantovani also said the government’s refusal to recommend the AstraZeneca vaccine to people under the age of 60 was due to a desire to act “too cautiously”.

In the vaccination campaign that began on December 27, 2020 in Italy with a population of 60 million, 46 million people have been vaccinated at least one dose to date, and the number of people who have received both doses has approached 16 million. In Italy, Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines are used.

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The authorities aim to vaccinate a large population before the end of the summer to a level which will allow “collective immunity”. There are also concerns that communication errors and uncertainties that will lead to confusion and anxiety will hamper the vaccination campaign.

In response to these concerns and debates, the government has decided to relax the vaccine dosage, which is mandatory for those under 60 at first. Prime Minister Mario Draghi announced last Friday that those who do not want to mix the vaccines will be allowed to receive a second dose of AstraZeneca, provided they get a doctor’s advice.

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In contrast, statements made by Draghi at the press conference to reassure the vaccination campaign sparked a separate discussion. Draghi announced that he also received the first dose of AstraZeneca, but will complete the second dose with another vaccine on Tuesday.

Although the Italian government’s decision to mix vaccines is valid for those under the age of 60, the fact that Draghi, 73, is the subject of special demand by going beyond the current rules has also provoked reactions. .

Prime Minister Draghi, meanwhile, said that after the first dose of the vaccine, his doctor suggested he give the second dose along with another type of vaccine, as the antibody level was low in the test.

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Regarding the criticisms, Deputy Health Minister Pierpaolo Sileri said: “The choice made by Draghi should also be made possible for all citizens over 60 who have received their first dose of AstraZeneca.

In an interview published today in La Stampa, Sileri recalled that the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved by the European Medicines Agency and admitted that the government made a communication error when mixing the vaccines.


Reports on the AstraZeneca vaccine suggest that the risk of blood clots from the vaccine is “very rare”.

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According to data from January 4 to May 26 in the UK, 24.3 million people received the first dose and 13.4 million people received both doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

A total of 348 people had bleeding problems among those who were vaccinated. Of these people, 61 people died.

According to these data, it turns out that the coagulation problem is observed in 13.6 people per million after the first dose. This rate is defined as “very rare risk” according to health authorities. In contrast, a coagulation problem is observed in 42 people per million Covid-19 patients.

In the UK, the Committee on Immunization and Immunization (JCVI) recommends that anyone who has received the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine and has had no bleeding problem receive the same vaccine in the second dose.

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