Bernard Kaic: Vaccination of Children Between 5-11 to Begin Very Soon

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Bernard Kaic said that when the initial report of a suspicion of a vaccine side effect came to their attention, they first went through all of the medical documentation carefully.

”We looked at what and how much is known about what that vaccine can or cannot cause, given that back in the beginning it was not known for sure but there was a signal that it could cause the effect which the individual suffered. It was only after a month or two that it was confirmed that this extremely rare side effect is indeed possible. Additional laboratory tests were then needed to confirm the diagnosis, then additional clinical data was required, and then we discussed it in the working group and concluded that this was probably, almost certainly in fact, related to the vaccine. HALMED was still seeking external expertise, so it took time. We concluded it at the expert group much earlier, but HALMED wanted another external confirmation before it went public with the information,” explained Bernard Kaic.

We have no official reports of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia

“Statistically, we should have a few more such cases. The incidence of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia is one in 100,000 vaccinated individuals, and we’ve been vaccinated with over 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca and it is possible that there are others that we missed, but we have no official reports of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia. We have reports of thrombosis, that people have had various coagulation disorders, we also have some reports of bleeding, the propensity to bleed after vaccination, bruising that people have, but these patients haven’t been thoroughly treated to see if thrombosis with thrombocytopenia is the case because it’s a separate, new entity and we don’t have any official reports,” Bernard Kaic said in answer to the question of whether it’s possible that we do indeed have more similar cases undetected across Croatia.

The use of the AstraZeneca vaccine will continue just as it did before

“Given that this isn’t surprising and that it’s expected, and with this risk of one in 100,000 vaccinated people, it’s believed that the benefits of vaccination in this situation are much greater than the possible side effects of the vaccine because 100,000 vaccinated people prevent many more hospitalisations, severe forms of illness and death, than the risk that, unfortunately, someone will die from a side effect. Nothing changes regarding the recommendations for the use of AstraZeneca. In June, when the incidence fell, we estimated that at that time, vaccination with AstraZeneca wasn’t recommended for those under 50 years of age because they have a higher risk than the elderly do, and the risk of coronavirus complications for that group is lower than in the case of older people. Now, in the fourth wave, the benefits of AstraZeneca outweigh the risks in all age groups, but if the decline in the number of overall patients continues, it will be time to return the recommendation from June,” said Bernard Kaic.

He also commented on the vaccination of children aged five to eleven, which will begin in Croatia soon

“It will be able to start next week, we’re just waiting for the vaccine to arrive. The European and American agencies have given approval for the use of children’s formulations, also with the opinion that the benefits of vaccination are greater and there is no obstacle for children from five to eleven years of age to be vaccinated. We’ll primarily recommend vaccinating children who have chronic diseases or those who have chronically ill persons or immunocompromised persons living in the same household. There are countries that started before us, such as Israel and the United States, and so far there are no safety signals that would indicate a problem in terms of side effects,” concluded Bernard Kaic.

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