European countries to resume use of AstraZeneca vaccine after 'safe, effective' decision by medical regulator

European countries to resume use of AstraZeneca vaccine after 'safe, effective' decision by medical regulator


New Delhi: Leading European Countries including Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovenia and Bulgaria have decided to resume AstraZeneca vaccinations after European Medicines Agency (EMA) clarified that the jab is ‘safe and effective and not related to a higher blood clot risk.

After an investigation into the AstraZeneca jab, EMA chief Emer Cooke asserted that its “committee has come to a clear scientific conclusion: this is a safe and effective vaccine. “The committee also concluded that the vaccine is not associated with an increase in the overall risk of thromboembolic events or blood clots,” she said, adding that the agency ‘cannot rule out definitively a link to a rare clotting disorder’, reported news agency AFP.

This comes days after the World Health Organization (WHO) said that it still recommends using the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine as the benefits outweigh its risks.

“Vaccination against Covid-19 will not reduce illness or deaths from other causes. Thromboembolic events are known to occur frequently. Venous thromboembolism is the third most common cardiovascular disease globally,” the WHO said in a statement on Wednesday.

Notably, a growing number of countries in the European Union had suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a precautionary measure, based on reports of blood clots in persons who had received the vaccine.

“It is routine for countries to signal potential adverse events following immunization. This does not necessarily mean that the events are linked to vaccination itself, but it is good practice to investigate them. It also shows that the surveillance system works and that effective controls are in place,” the statement from WHO read.