AstraZeneca or Pfizer? People have the choice. | Miquel A. Cañellas


Balearic health minister, Patricia Gómez, has admitted that the decision to give under-60s the chance to choose which vaccine they want for their second dose was made because of a concern that they might choose not to have one at all.

The under-60s in question are people from professional groups whose first dose was AstraZeneca. The use of this vaccine for the under-60s was subsequently suspended, but the option is there for these people to have it as the second dose.

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The Pfizer vaccine will be used for the second dose, but the choice is for the individual to make. The health ministry is not recommending one over the other, just encouraging people to have a second jab. If AstraZeneca is selected, informed consent has to be signed.

Dr. Edelmiro Vergés of the Balearics vaccine committee, says this is the wrong way round. The informed consent should be for the Pfizer vaccine, as something different to what was prescribed is being offered. "Politicians are usurping technical decisions and deciding that the risk is not acceptable."

He argues that cases of blood clots have been blown out of all proportion. "The press have created social alarm. If this hadn't appeared in the media, decisions would have been made by the European Medicines Agency without anyone knowing that there is an adverse effect per a million of people. No drug has such a low proportion of serious side effects."