EU drug agency discounts any link between vaccine and clots

The finding from the European Medicines Agency could open the way for European countries that had suspended the use of the vaccine over the past week to resume dispensing the shots.

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A woman at the Wheatfield surgery is given a 1st shot of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine by Dr Christian Owusu-Yianoma in Luton, England, Thursday, March 18, 2021.

A woman at the Wheatfield surgery is given a 1st shot of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine by Dr Christian Owusu-Yianoma in Luton, England, Thursday, March 18, 2021.

AP

LONDON — The European Union’s drug regulatory agency says experts have concluded that the AstraZeneca vaccine is not linked to an overall increase in the risk of blood clots and that the benefits of use outweigh the risks.

The finding from the European Medicines Agency could open the way for European countries that had suspended the use of the vaccine over the past week to resume dispensing the shots.

The head of the EMA, Emer Cooke said Thursday that the agency “cannot rule out definitively a link” between rare types of blood clots and the vaccine, however, and experts recommend raising awareness among doctors and recipients of possible risks.

EMA recommended adding a description of these cases to the vaccine leaflets so health workers and patients would be aware of these rare blood clots.

But Cooke also said: “Our scientific position is that is that this vaccine is a safe and effective option to protect citizens against COVID-19. It demonstrated that at least 60% efficacy in clinical trials and preventing coronavirus disease. And in fact, the real-world evidence suggests that the effectiveness could be even higher than that.”

Numerous European countries had suspended use of the vaccine over the past week amid concerns over blood clots in a few dozen of the millions of people vaccinated with the formula across the continent.

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Jordans reported from Berlin.

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