Metro disease specialists not discouraging AstraZeneca vaccine

Tracking Coronavirus

FAIRWAY, Kan. — Metro infectious disease specialists aren’t discouraging patients from receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.

On Tuesday, a leading oversight committee expressed concerns about that vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccine has been linked to cases of blood clots. The Data and Safety Monitoring Board believes the pharmaceutical giant was using old data while praising the vaccine’s efficacy on Monday. That board intends to take a deeper dive into the vaccine’s efficacy.

News of the monitoring board’s scrutiny surprised J.J. Barrera, a Kansas City resident who’s been part of a clinical trial since December. Barrera said he sees a doctor every 30 days, and other than a brief incident that looked like clotting, he said he’s been fine.

“They said there’s really nothing to worry about, especially because with this specific trial, not everyone got the vaccine. I guess like with most vaccine trials, there’s a placebo, so some people may not have gotten it,” Barrera said.

Clotting was a topic of concern during Tuesday’s media briefing with the University of Kansas Health System’s infectious disease team. Those physicians, who convene for reporters every weekday morning, said it’s typical for the Data and Safety Monitoring Board to be so precise. 

Jacqueline Johnson, another Kansas City metro resident, said she wanted to take the risk on the AstraZeneca vaccine in hopes of spending more time with her family, which includes six grandchildren. 

“I just think if you are a person that wants to be safe, and want to protect others, you’ll take that chance. I wanted to take that chance for myself, first, and my loved ones,” Johnson said.

On Tuesday, NPR reported that a team of European scientists believes it’s solved that issue with clotting. If they’re accurate, that could show doctors how to treat patients who need this vaccine.

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