When Rafael came in a couple of weeks ago to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 , the uncertainty about alleged serious adverse reactions to the drug raged unstoppably.
The torrent of information about thrombosis suffered by some of those immunized with it and its possible link with the compound had already reached all the media, the institutions called for calm and some countries were considering blocking the doses of the serum.
However, this professor of Graphic Design at the School of Art of Zaragoza was clear at all times: he wanted to protect himself and the Anglo-Swedish preparation seemed as valid as any other .
Zendal’s general coordinator says that many AstraZeneca vaccines have been used in the center and they have not noticed “anything”. Spain resumes vaccination with AstraZeneca on Wednesday but will specify which population groups.
You could not be more satisfied. Not even the decision of the Ministry of Health to stop the immunization campaign with AstraZeneca on March 15, in the wake of other European countries, raised doubts. “My opinion has not changed at all: if they offer me to inject it tomorrow, I will put it on .
I have taken this whole situation with optimism because the benefits are much greater than the risks. I do not doubt the vaccine at all, on the contrary, I cling to to her, “he says.
This is a position shared by the Ministry, which will resume immunization with this compound next Wednesday , after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) assured last Thursday that it is “safe and effective” and denied evidence that it is related with a risk of thrombi. In addition, Health approved this Monday its use in people between 55 and 65 years old.
“If they offer me to inject it tomorrow, I will put it on. I do not doubt the vaccine at all, on the contrary, I will stick with it”
“I do not think that we should focus on the alleged serious adverse reactions, which have affected very few people and whose link with the vaccine is not even proven. Maybe the serum lowers my cholesterol or even removes my allergy to pollen. .. Why is it not going to do me good? “, He jokes, and explains that he hardly experienced any side effects after the inoculation, beyond a slight discomfort, such as a slight” hangover “.
Rafael is just one example of the many teachers, firefighters, police officers, civil guards or physiotherapists, among other professions, who have relied on the AstraZeneca preparation even as news of alleged adverse reactions began to proliferate. In fact, the unions emphasize that in these sectors the desire to get vaccinated predominates and those who reject this possibility represent a “very small” percentage .
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Who was also vaccinated with the AstraZeneca preparation when the possible side effects began to make headlines was Mónica, a technology professor at a center in Torre Pacheco (Murcia). He went to his appointment on Thursday, March 11 with his colleagues aware of the existence of these cases , to which he preferred not to give fuel, and now he harbors mixed feelings.
“We saw the news in the institute and we decided not to continue reading. We had already signed our consent in advance and we understood that we had to go, but obviously feeling like a guinea pig generates uncertainty, ” he reflects.
“I understood that it was a privilege to be vaccinated, I prioritized thinking about the beginning of the end. However, when everything stopped, we felt cheated, with anger, almost as inept,” he admits, although he says he does not regret his decision. “You experience contradictory emotions.
On the one hand, you think that, had we had all the information, perhaps en masse we would have said no … Although I don’t think so, because you understand that it is a process that you have to undertake,” he adds.
“We understood that you had to be vaccinated, but obviously it creates uncertainty to feel like a guinea pig”
However, this sense of responsibility for Monica does not exempt her from having been afraid of the threat of a possible more serious reaction than expected. “I am divorced and I have two small children, who were with their father. I wrote to him to ask him that, if something happened to me, he would take good care of them and tell them every day that their mother loved them very much, ” she details.
Susana: “I prefer to wait”
Unlike Rafael and Mónica, Susana, a teacher at a Madrid high school, chose not to be immunized: she is clear that she wants to be vaccinated against COVID-19 , but “caution” discourages her from doing so with the AstraZeneca serum .
It is the option that they offered him before the Government canceled the administration of this drug and, in the face of growing information about possible adverse reactions, he decided to postpone the appointment . At this time, after the new free route to the compound, he plans to wait a little longer and adduces the same reason that the Ministry raised when suspending the inoculation: “prudence.”
A health worker receives a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Lyon, France. French health agency asks not to vaccinate under 55s with AstraZeneca.
After impatiently awaiting her turn for the immunization and even insisting that it occur as soon as possible, on Friday, March 12, she finally received the notification to administer the AstraZeneca preparation the following Sunday. By then, the information that appeared in the media had already increased his distrust and uncertainty , so he consulted his alternatives with Health.
” Nor did I want to reject the vaccine outright , it did not seem like a reasonable position to do it in such a drastic way. They offered me the possibility to change the appointment for later, until I had things clear or until things became clear, and that’s what I did: request that it be postponed, “says this teacher.
“It is not about adopting a remedy that is worse than the disease, pun intended”
Susana’s greatest fear is that what is reaching public opinion is “much less” than what is actually happening and that the thrombi, whose causal relationship with the vaccine has not yet been proven, are linked to the serum.
“It is not about adopting a remedy that is worse than the disease, never better,” he says, while he has a memory for Pilar, the teacher who died in Marbella after receiving the AstraZeneca injection and whose death has not yet been linked to the drug. .
However, this teacher does not give up immunization . “When I have the opportunity and things are clear, of course I am going to get vaccinated, of course. But, for that, I have to have a degree of assurance that the effects that may derive from the vaccine are normal, not serious for me. health, “he says, before pointing out that his colleagues who were inoculated with the Anglo-Swedish preparation show a” logical concern about possible effects “, although so far they have been mostly mild.