EU Agency Okays AstraZeneca Vaccine, Says Cases Of Blood Clots ‘Very Rare’

Amid the suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine by some countries, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has endorsed the continued use of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The agency said based on its “preliminary review of a signal of blood clots in people” who have taken the vaccine, it was better to continue vaccination than to be revisited with another wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

EMA, in a press release published on its official website on Thursday, also observed that the said vaccine might have caused blood clots in a small number out of the millions of people already vaccinated.

It, however, welcomed further investigation on the vaccine.

Its findings reads: “The benefits of the vaccine in combating the still widespread threat of COVID-19 (which itself results in clotting problems and may be fatal) continue to outweigh the risk of side effects;
“The vaccine is not associated with an increase in the overall risk of blood clots (thromboembolic events) in those who receive it;
“There is no evidence of a problem related to specific batches of the vaccine or to particular manufacturing sites;
“However, the vaccine may be associated with very rare cases of blood clots associated with thrombocytopenia, i.e. low levels of blood platelets (elements in the blood that help it to clot) with or without bleeding, including rare cases of clots in the vessels draining blood from the brain (CVST).”

It said, “These are rare cases – around 20 million people in the UK and EEA had received the vaccine as of March 16 and EMA had reviewed only 7 cases of blood clots in multiple blood vessels (disseminated intravascular coagulation, DIC) and 18 cases of CVST. A causal link with the vaccine is not proven, but is possible and deserves further analysis.”

The World Health Organization had also recommended the continued use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

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