The European Medicines Agency has concluded that the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe for use, one week after some EU countries halted the distribution of the vaccine following fears that it may develop blood clots and other medical ailments.
“The committee has come to a clear scientific conclusion. This is a safe and effective vaccine. Its benefits in protecting people from COVID-19 with the associated risks of death and hospitalisation outweigh the possible risks,” Executive Director Emer Cooke said in a press briefing earlier today.
“The committee also concluded that the vaccine is not associated with the increase in the overall risk of thromboembolic events and blood clots,” she said.
Last week, several European countries, including Denmark, Norway and Bulgaria, halted the distribution of AstraZeneca following reports that some patients developed blood clots days after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
Moreover, a specific batch, ABV5300, which had been delivered to 17 EU member states, including Malta, was put under investigation by the EMA following the reports.
While the EMA concluded that the AstraZeneca vaccine’s benefits far outweigh the risks, the agency stated that it “cannot rule out definitively” a link to rare clotting disorders.
The United Kingdom’s medicines regulator has also spoken out in favour of taking the AstraZeneca vaccine and the World Health Organisation has also claimed that AstraZeneca is an “excellent vaccine” and saw no reason to stop its distribution.
While some countries are on hold, in Malta, health authorities issued a statement stating that it will not be suspending the AstraZeneca vaccine, noting that the batch in question, ABV5300, had been administered weeks ago.
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