EU medical agency again backs AstraZeneca Covid vaccine

WION Web Team
Brussels, Belgium Published: Apr 01, 2021, 11.53 AM(IST)

A file photo of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The EMA statement came after experts met on Monday to discuss their latest findings on the AstraZeneca vaccine. Their comments will be discussed at the safety committee's meeting next week.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA), probing links between the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine and blood clots, have again found no specific risk factors, including age. They are, however, investigating further.

The EU's drug regulator on Wednesday said however that its safety committee expected to issue an "updated recommendation" on the controversial vaccine after its monthly meeting next week.

"At present the review has not identified any specific risk factors, such as age, gender or a previous medical history of clotting disorders, for these very rare events," the Amsterdam-based EMA said in a statement. "A causal link with the vaccine is not proven, but is possible and further analysis is continuing."

The EMA statement came after experts met on Monday to discuss their latest findings on the AstraZeneca vaccine. Their comments will be discussed at the safety committee's meeting next week.

The watchdog reiterated the view it gave in a keenly-anticipated statement on March 18, saying "its benefits in protecting people from Covid-19 with the associated risks of death and hospitalisation outweigh the possible risks."

Germany on Tuesday became the latest in a series of countries to advise against using the AstraZeneca jab for younger people after rare reports of clotting, despite the EMA saying it is safe.

Also read | Germany halts use of AstraZeneca vaccine for elderly amid reports of rare disorder

EMA's chief, Emer Cooke, and the head of the agency's pharmacovigilance and epidemiology department, Peter Arlett, told an online news conference of the cases detected of the rare clotting -- cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) -- following AstraZeneca vaccine injections. They said there were 62 cases of CVST worldwide, with 44 of them in the European Economic Area (EEA) comprising the European Union and associated states Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

The figures they gave were from 9.2 million AstraZeneca jabs in the EEA region.

Cooke said that, while "at this stage of our investigations the link is possible" between rare CVST cases and the AstraZeneca vaccine, more evaluation was needed.

Read in App