The Prime Minister said Wednesday that the continuation of the Astrazeneca vaccine administration in Portugal would depend on a “technical decision” at the specialist level of the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The agency confirmed on Wednesday that thrombosis is a side effect of the Astrazeneca vaccine, but did not recommend suspending use because the benefits outweigh the risks.
António Costa, speaking on the sidelines of a school visit in Vila Real, recalled that a meeting of European Union Health Ministers would take place this Wednesday and defended that the decision on this matter should be shared.
“It’s a technical decision. I know people think prime ministers need to know everything. Unfortunately, I am not a vaccine specialist and the decisions are made by the technicians. The national authorities and all Member States of the European Union must respect the EMA decisions and avoid taking unilateral decisions, ”said António Costa.
The Prime Minister considered it “essential that there should be coordinated action at European Union level”. “We have heard all sorts of suggestions for recommendations,” he commented.
When asked whether the Astrazeneca vaccine will continue to be administered pending the final technical decision in Portugal, António Costa did not reply directly, but rather implied: “The EMA has again revised the vaccine and drawn known conclusions.” These conclusions were that the Benefits of vaccination are greater than those of not vaccinating.
António Costa again appealed to the Portuguese to take precautionary measures regarding the Covid-19. “We still have to be careful because the pandemic is not over yet (…). Today the virus differs from the one a year ago because there are more dangerous variants. “