EU Medicines Agency Says AstraZeneca Vaccine is “Safe and Effective”

The AstraZeneca Covid vaccine is “safe and effective” to use, according to the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Many European countries suspended use of the vaccine pending a review by the agency into concerns about it causing blood clots. Italy and France said on Tuesday that they would “quickly resume” their countries’ rollouts once the green light was given. Sky News has the story.

The European Union’s medicines agency has said the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine is “safe and effective” to use following an investigation into reports of blood clots in a small number of recipients.

The decision by the EMA comes after more than a dozen European countries – including Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, France and Sweden – halted the vaccine’s rollout over fears regarding the claims.

The EMA said the benefits outweigh the risks – and the vaccine is not linked to an overall risk of blood clots.

However, the agency’s safety committee has also said it can’t rule out a “small number of cases” of a rare clotting disorder that have occurred after vaccination. …

The WHO added its weight behind the debate ahead of the EMA’s announcement, urging countries to continue using the jab.

“As of now, we do not know whether some or all of the conditions have been caused by the vaccine or by other coincidental factors,” said Hans Kluge, the WHO’s European director.

“At this point in time, however, the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine far outweigh its risks – and its use should continue, to save lives.”

The agency has said that it cannot “rule out definitively” the vaccine’s link to a rare clotting disorder. The Telegraph reports:

The European Medicine’s Agency has said they “cannot rule out definitively” a link to a rare clotting disorder.

The agency will update its guidance to include an explanation about the potential risks on both the patient leaflet and in the information for healthcare professionals, the chief of the EMA said.

But Emer Cooke said in a briefing the “clear” conclusion of the review was that the vaccine “benefits in protecting people from Covid with the associated risk of death or hospitalisation outweighs the possible risks.”

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has also today stressed the safety of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine, pointing to the fact that just five cases of a rare blood clot on the brain have occurred among the 11 million people in the UK who have taken it.

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