Amid health fears over AstraZeneca’s vaccine and a slew of countries halting its shot, the EU regulators said that AstraZeneca vaccine is “safe and effective” and is not associated with higher blood clot risk. Earlier the day, the United Kingdom’s health regulator also said it had not found any direct links between the vaccine and blood clots.
“The committee has come to a clear scientific conclusion: this is a safe and effective vaccine,” Emer Cooke, the head of the Amsterdam-based EMA, told a press conference. She added, “Its benefits in protecting people from Covid-19 with the associated risks of death and hospitalisation outweigh the possible risks.”
“The committee also concluded that the vaccine is not associated with an increase in the overall risk of thromboembolic events or blood clots.”
Cooke added: “If it was me I would be vaccinated tomorrow.”
The UK health regulator said there were no ties to clots and the Pfizer vaccine, and incidents were no higher in vaccinated groups than among the unvaccinated.
“There is no evidence that blood clots in veins is occurring more than would be expected in the absence of vaccination, for either vaccine,” said June Raine, chief executive of the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Several European Union countries have suspended the use of AstraZeneca vaccine over concerns of it causing blood clots.
The UK’s health regulator’s remarks came a day after WHO recommended nations to use the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. AstraZeneca has denied the claims of blood clots, saying there is no evidence that clots are being caused by the vaccine.
The European Medicines Agency, EU’s medical regulator, on Tuesday ruled out reports linking the clots to the vaccine and urged countries to continue using the jab.