EU agency says AstraZeneca vaccine is ‘safe and effective’

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GBNEWS24 DESK//

A review by the EU’s medicines regulator has concluded the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is “safe and effective”, and its benefits outweigh the risks.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) found the vaccine was “not associated” with a higher risk of blood clots.

But it said it would continue to study the possibility of such links.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday called on countries to continue using the vaccine.

Decisions to suspend use of the vaccine by 13 EU states sparked concerns over the pace of the region’s vaccination drive, which had already been affected by supply shortages.

Much of Europe is struggling to contain a surge in coronavirus cases.

The WHO is due to release the results of its own review into the vaccine’s safety on Friday.
The EMA investigation focused on a small number of cases of unusual blood disorders. In particular, it was looking at cases of cerebral venous thrombosis – blood clots in the head.
Why did European countries act?
Thirteen EU countries suspended use of the vaccine, after reports of a small number of cases of blood clots among vaccine recipients in the region.

On Monday, the three largest EU members – Germany, France and Italy – said they were awaiting the results of the EMA investigation before deciding whether to resume their rollout of the jab.

They said they had opted to pause their use of the drug as a “precautionary measure”.

“There were a few very unusual and troubling cases which justify this pause and the analysis,” French immunologist Alain Fischer, who heads a government advisory board, told France Inter radio. “It’s not lost time.”

In Germany, the health ministry also pointed to a small number of rare blood clots in vaccinated people when justifying its decision. It postponed a summit on extending the vaccine rollout ahead of the EMA’s announcement.

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