European Union health agency to rule on troubled AstraZeneca jab

Thursday, 18 Mar, 2021

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.

A further, detailed review into five United Kingdom reports of a very rare and specific type of blood clot in the cerebral veins (sinus vein thrombosis) occurring together with lowered platelets (thrombocytopenia) is ongoing.

Paik added he was "almost confident" that the EMA would give the green light to the vaccine, and that once the jab is cleared, inoculations would pick up.

It says it's in regular contact with the European Medicines Agency and regulators around the world for the latest information on vaccine safety, adding it is carefully assessing the latest available data for the AstraZeneca vaccine and will immediately communicate the findings to the public.

It is due to offer a further update on Thursday after several European countries halted its use due to reports of some people suffering blood clots following vaccination. "There is no proven connection between blood clotting and the Oxford Astazaneca vaccine".

"We don't have much time to lose in this race against the virus and new variants could take advantage of any slowing in vaccination efforts", Liu wrote in part to Fox News.

Jutta Paulus, a licensed pharmacist and a member of the European Parliament for the Green Party, said the "benefits of taking the AstraZeneca vaccine do outweigh the risks".

On Tuesday night, French prime minister Jean Castex suggested attitudes towards the AstraZeneca jab in the country were shifting after telling broadcasters he would accept a dose of the vaccine "as soon as the suspension is lifted".

Regarding the issue, Emer Cooke, executive director of the European Union drug agency, had earlier said that the agency remains "firmly convinced" the benefits of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine outweigh the risks of side effects.

Determining whether or not the vaccine is to blame can be hard, especially since the COVID-19 vaccination campaigns are focusing for now on vulnerable people who may have other health problems. Vaccine hesitancy there is rooted in corruption and mistrust of authority but also in a temporary government suspension in 2008, when a 17-year-old boy died shortly after receiving a measles-rubella vaccine.

Germany will rely on the EMA decision to determine how to proceed, Health Ministry spokesman Hanno Kautz said.

"The community transmission is out there, and I'm pretty sure that we haven't detected a lot of it", MrWong said, saying his country was "running at full throttle" to prevent further spread.

But because there are no long-term data on any of the COVID-19 vaccines, any potential signal of trouble must be thoroughly investigated. "It may take time for people to trust the vaccine again, but we don't have a lot of time".

Head cautioned that there are costs to going slowly: The longer the coronavirus is allowed to circulate widely, the more chance it has to mutate into a deadlier version.