Corona: Why the AstraZeneca drama also has something good

Dear readers,

it was once again, one might think, a week to forget. As if it wasn’t enough that we were at the bottom when it came to vaccination, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn suspended the AstraZeneca vaccine at the beginning of the week. On the recommendation of the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI). Because of six women who had sinus vein thrombosis after the vaccination. One man was diagnosed with cerebral haemorrhage. More cases are now known.

Perhaps one should not evaluate it like the “Bild” newspaper, which asked who actually knew the PEI, whether the everyday lives of “millions of people” should depend on this authority, whether politicians should not ultimately have to make their own decisions instead to listen to people whose world is “the microscope”. But of course one can wonder whether this decision was proportionate given that we are in the middle of the third wave.

Now, since yesterday there was a decision to further contaminate AstraZeneca, so we have de facto lost four days, but you can look at it differently.

Of course, the vaccine, which is not particularly popular anyway, suffered further damage to its image in the past week. But: What would have happened if, despite the reports (because they were in the world) about thromboses in connection with the vaccine, they simply continued to vaccinate? Presumably, all those people who are skeptical of the vaccines with the accelerated approval process would have felt confirmed.

Perhaps this would have caused much more damage to the vaccination campaign than the loss of four days.

Even if it seems tedious at times, it is right not to take short cuts when it comes to these things. But to keep the cool eye of science, to use the procedures that have been established for precisely these cases.

Because at the end of these four days there is also a real profit: In future, the risk of sinus vein thrombosis will be explicitly pointed out in the package leaflet of the medication. People who receive the AstraZeneca vaccination will be made aware of the symptoms of this possible side effect. You can spot them and be treated so early. And that also saves lives.

“(Sch) inpf und Schande – The new German incompetence” is the title of the new SPIEGEL. You will receive the output now digital and from Saturday at the kiosk.

Everything you need to know about the AstraZeneca vaccine

Reasons and consequences of stopping vaccination: For information on risks and side effects, forget the package insert
How did the AstraZeneca vaccination break come about, which could propel the country deeper into the third wave? One reason was probably a lack of information in the small print.

AstraZeneca: Protection takes precedence over damage
The vaccination ban for the AstraZeneca vaccine has been lifted, skepticism remains. A risk researcher understands the concerns – and ideas on how we can overcome reservations about the drug.

AstraZeneca stop: thrombosis after vaccination or because of the birth control pill – can they be compared?
AstraZeneca’s vaccination is suspected of causing dangerous blood clots in the brain. This side effect has been known for years for birth control pills. What is the same, what is different – the overview.

Calculations for AstraZeneca decision: Which is riskier – vaccination or vaccination freeze?
The precautionary waiver of AstraZeneca could prevent thrombosis cases, but also lead to more Covid-19 deaths. Age also determines whether the benefits outweigh the risks.

Doctors on thrombosis: How the blood clotting gets out of whack
Tamam Bakchoul treated a patient who died after receiving an AstraZeneca vaccination. Here he reports on his research into the causes and says what he now advises vaccinated people.

Looking For Rare Side Effects: The Vaccine Detectives
Could the AstraZeneca vaccine cause thrombosis? It is difficult to clearly demonstrate a connection. In the end, professionals have to weigh the risks.

Vaccination freeze for AstraZeneca: This is how the Paul Ehrlich Institute works
Experts from the Paul Ehrlich Institute have achieved a complete vaccination freeze for AstraZeneca in Germany with a short letter. The power of the authority is enshrined in law. But how does it work?

Covid-19 in worldwide numbers

  • Confirmed Cases: 121,882,440
  • Deaths: 2,692,806
  • Recovered from the disease: 69,033,271
  • Germany: 2,629,750 confirmed sick people, 74,358 deaths

    Sources: CSSE / Johns Hopkins University, as of March 19, 2021, 11:26 am; Robert Koch Institute, as of March 19, 2021, 9:06 a.m.

Research news

Corona pandemic: do vaccinations also help against “long covid”?
Many corona patients suffer from long-term effects long after the illness. They can now hope for relief; the vaccination may act like a drug for them – the symptoms sometimes go away.

Researcher fears vaccine-resistant virus: “Brazil is a threat to world health”
He opposes the Bolsonaro government and is therefore threatened: Amazon researcher Lucas Ferrante warns of a vaccine-resistant virus from Manaus – and calls for international sanctions against Brazil.

Coronavirus Transmission: How to Easily Determine the Risk of Infection in Rooms
Viruses spread like perfume, cigarette smoke or carbon dioxide. Inexpensive CO₂ traffic lights should measure how fresh the air is. Why aren’t they more common?

Danish study: Corona infection does not reliably protect the elderly from re-infection
Should people infected with Corona still be vaccinated later? A study from Denmark speaks for it. The natural protection against renewed infection is low, especially for people over 65 years of age.

What else was important

Before the Corona vaccination summit: Müller and Söder flirt with the Russian vaccine Sputnik V
The federal and state governments want to clarify at the vaccination summit whether and when family doctors are allowed to vaccinate – and how much sense the sequence of vaccinations still makes. Bavaria and Berlin look hopefully to Moscow.

Fight over corona vaccines: why an export ban would do more harm than good
If other vaccines are hoarding, so can we: In view of the limited delivery quantities, calls for an export ban in Germany are getting louder. What would the consequences be?

Model project in Saxony: Open shops despite high numbers of infections – this is how it could work
In Augustusburg, Saxony, the incidence value is over 200, but restaurants are expected to reopen soon. Here the mayor explains why the model project could also work outside of Saxony.

Corona test centers: 136,000 quick test results were unprotected on the Internet
The corona test results and personal data of 80,000 people were freely available online. All that was required was an online registration. Those responsible speak of an “unfortunate software bug”.

Half-full glass from the department

Contraception campaign postponed due to Corona: goats reproduce like rabbits
Numerous cashmere goats roam the Welsh seaside resort of Llandudno, causing a sensation. Soon there will probably be more of the enterprising animals.

Have a nice weekend

Yours Michail Hengstenberg

What you need to know about the virus

We have put together all the answers to the most important questions about the coronavirus for you here. You can find more current developments at SPIEGEL.de.

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