Published: Thu, March 18, 2021

European Union regulator reviews AstraZeneca shot and blood clot links

European Union regulator reviews AstraZeneca shot and blood clot links

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine should continue to be administered as the benefits outweigh its risks.

In a statement, the global body notes that some countries in the European Union have temporarily suspended use of the vaccine, as a precautionary measure based on reports of rare blood coagulation disorders in people who'd received the vaccine.

The European Medicines Agency echoed the same sentiment on Wednesday, saying that it had evaluated the vaccine's side effects and found no direct link between its use and the blood clots, and that the benefits of using it outweigh the risks.

The firm later sparred with the European Union, which accused it of failing to fulfil vaccine contracts after the bloc's immunisation campaign came under fire for a sputtering start.

Concerns over the clotting led more than a dozen European countries to suspend vaccinations with the shot, even though the company and worldwide health agencies said there was no indication the vaccine caused the clotting and recommended continuing inoculations.

There are "a number of options" open to scientists at the European Medicines Agency (EMA), its chief said earlier this week, including suspending approval for the jab in the EU, with the bloc's inoculation programme already scrambling for vaccines.

More than 11 million doses have been administered in the United Kingdom, without any major problems reported.

The German government defended its decision to suspend use of the vaccine, saying it was based on expert advice.

"Once the genie is out of the bottle, and public confidence in vaccines has been diminished, it may be hard to restore trust", William Moss, director of the International Vaccine Access Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, wrote, in part, to Fox News. "Concerns are taken seriously and examined".

A spokeswomen for Germany's vaccine authority, which is part of the investigation, said EMA would not rule on causality. "It's clear that the EMA decision is binding, and of course we will follow the EMA decision too", Kautz said.

A total 4.58 million people have been vaccinated since the nationwide vaccination campaign kicked off on February 7. Determining whether or not the vaccine is to blame can be hard, since most of the people getting inoculated first are those most at risk of the coronavirus.

It is now a vital part of Covax, which was set up to procure Covid-19 vaccines and ensure their equitable distribution around the world.

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Because clinical trials are only done in tens of thousands of people, extremely rare side effects often aren't detected until vaccines are used in many millions of people, long after they have been licensed. Any links between the blood clotting and the vaccine are yet to be confirmed.

"So our vaccination campaign is going ahead and it must accelerate". "There is no proven connection between blood clotting and the Oxford Astazaneca vaccine".

This comes as Canada is expecting deliveries of two million doses next week.

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