The AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine does not increase the overall incidence of blood clots and the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh any possible risks, said the European Union’s drug regulatory agency on Thursday.
That paved the path for resumption of administering of the vaccine in European countries that had suspended it over safety concerns.
The vaccine was started to be used again on Friday in France, Italy and Germany, who made the announcement within hours of the regulatory announcement. The same will be done starting next week, said Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands. However certain groups could be excluded from taking this vaccine, Spain said.
Over the past week, the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine was stopped in their inoculation programs by more than a dozen nations around the world after reports emerged of a few people who had been given the shots developing clots among the millions of people across Europe who have been given the vaccine. The question was whether the clots had anything to do with the vaccine shots and whether regulators and the producer needed ot do take any measures.
The head of the EMA, Emer Cooke, announced that the safety committee of the European Medicines Agency “has come to a clear scientific conclusion”. Cooke added: “this is a safe and effective vaccine.”
She added: “If it were me, I would be vaccinated tomorrow.”
She however said that the agency “still cannot rule out definitively a link” between certain rare types of blood clots and the vaccine. A recommendation to add a description of these cases to the vaccine leaflets was made by the EMA.
The suspension of the vaccine by some countries also raised some concerns about the possibility of public confidence in the vaccines being shaken which would not be good for the world because governments around the world are making efforts to immunize their population. This vaccine from AstraZeneca is also crucial in immunizing people from some of the poorer countries of the world. There were also concerns among experts about that this political intervention in suspending the use of the vaccine would also delay the already delayed vaccine roll out program across the 27-nation EU. Currently there is be surge in the number of Covid-19 infections in Europe and other countries. Europe also relies on Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines.
He would be getting an AstraZeneca shot on Friday “to show we can have complete confidence” in it, said the French Prime Minister Jean Castex.
People can get strokes, heart attacks or other deadly blockages if a clots that form in the arms, legs or elsewhere breaks free and travel to the heart, brain or lungs.
The aggregate number of incidents of clotting of various types as reported since the vaccine roll out was found to be much lower then what one could expect to see if that was a phenomenon among the general population, the EMA found in its findings.
(Adapted from USNews.com)