Pablo Blanco is 61 years old and lives in Guadalajara, where he is born. Two years ago, his family doctor prescribed movicol for him. When he opened the envelope and took it, he began to feel very bad. His hands and lips became swollen, “a huge reaction”. The situation reached such an extreme that he had to go to the hospital in his province.
Upon arrival, Blanco had to be given corticosteroids to stop the anaphylaxis caused by one of the components of the drug, the polyethylene glycol. It was in the dermatology department of the same hospital where it was detected. “Since then I have always written my name on my mobile, in case you ask me about my allergies,” he explains to EL ESPAÑOL.
According to the Spanish Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (SEAIC) “polyethylene glycol or macrogol is a substance present in some medications, such as laxatives, antibiotics, analgesics, antiaggregants, corticosteroids and antihypertensives”.
Its use is extended in more everyday products such as some daily cosmetics such as toothpaste and shampoo, in which it acts as a thickener, solvent, softener and carrier of moisture. In the case of vaccines for Covid-19, it acts to increase their stability and shelf life.
Since the Covid-19 vaccination process began in Spain, Blanco had no doubts and he has always gone to his medical point every time his age group was among those authorized to inoculate the different doses. This is how he did with the first and the second, which he played on June 29. His problem has come with the third, the reinforcement.
From the first puncture they gave him the AstraZeneza serumSince Pfizer and Moderna, which are made of messenger RNA, use polyethylene glycol for their preservation, the component that sent Blanco to the hospital.
When the go-ahead was given for those over 60 to be vaccinated for the third time, Blanco went to get it. The problem is that, upon arrival, they told him that there was no other option but to get vaccinated with mRNA: “They told me that in Guadalajara they only put Pfizer and Moderna.”
Therefore, that day he could not be vaccinated again. “I went to my family doctor, who told me that he was going to send an email to Health, but from the department they told me that it was not his competence, that he had to go to the management of the Guadalajara Hospital.”
After five days, Blanco had not received any response, so he went back to the hospital. “They told me, verbatim, that the General Directorate of Castilla-La Mancha had ordered that no one will be vaccinated other than Pfizer or Moderna“.
The problem is not in this autonomous community. Who marks how to be vaccinated in the Ministry of Health. Last September they published the protocol for the third dose, in which they bet only on messenger ANR vaccines.
This department has not responded to EL ESPAÑOL’s questions about if there is any alternative for people like Pablo Blanco or if it is valued to put the dose of AstraZeneca.
No booster dose
“And what do I do? Fuck me, simply speaking? What about cases like mine, which I suppose is not the only one?” Asks Blanco. And from then until now, he still has no solution to get the booster dose.
“Every day they tell us to get vaccinated, to get vaccinated … But people like me they don’t give us alternatives“, he resigned. Blanco claims that, in some way, they let them be vaccinated with the dose of AstraZeneca, which would be” a solution “to their problem.
The reality is that the oxford vaccine serum yes significantly increases antibody levels against the omicron variant, according to the laboratory itself. That is, there is an alternative to Blanco’s problem, although the Spanish Vaccination Society insist that it is more favorable to mix different types of vaccine.
The agency advises that, in cases like Pablo’s, they get all three doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. “It is a way to ensure immunity without the need for the vaccinated to face any allergic reaction. The triple guideline has scientific validity and studies that confirm it “.
It is also not a problem of underdosing of AstraZeneca. In the latest Health vaccination report this Wednesday, it is noted that there are more than 10 million vaccines of this type without distributing to the autonomous communities.
In this sense, the problem could be where these vaccines are. And it is that, as the Communities no longer click with AstraZeneca (It was limited to a very specific age group after detecting thrombosis associated with its inoculation) they returned it to the Ministry hangars.
Although Health has not answered whether they know how many people would be in the same situation as Mr. Blanco, it must be made clear that polyethylene glycol does not cause the same effects in all people who are allergic to it.
In fact, from the SEAIC itself, they point out that “reactions to this substance are extremely rare.” Even the protagonist of this report does not know what could produce him, but prefers not to risk another visit to the Hospital.
From the Spanish Society of Vaccination They insist that depending on the reaction that occurs to the polyethylene glycol, one option or another may be taken. “If it’s mild, it can be controlled with methylprednisolone (urbason), but if it causes anaphylaxis, the triple regimen of AstraZeneca is preferable “.
Even with all this, Blanco coexists with the omicron variant “wonderfully”. Despite the fact that he cannot take the third dose, he has decided that he will not be “scared to death, you have to live.” “We have to respect the basic rules of distance and the mask, and not much else.”
The only thing he fears the most is “tomorrow to have the Covid passport ask to have the three doses.” Blanco admits that he does not travel much, but he is concerned that those who do not have the three vaccines will begin to prevent people from going out on the streets or entering restaurants.