A data review on people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine shows no evidence of increased risk of pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis (DVT), the pharmaceutical company has stated.
Last week, several European countries halted the distribution of the AstraZeneca vaccine in light of reports that it may have caused blood clots in several recipients.
A specific batch, ABV5300, which had been delivered to 17 EU member states, including Malta, is currently under investigation by the European Medicines Authority.
However, the current consensus remains that there is no evidence to suggest that the aforementioned illnesses are a result of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“So far across the EU and UK, there have been 15 events of DVT and 22 events of pulmonary embolism reported among those given the vaccine,” AstraZeneca said in a statement addressing the concerns.
“This is much lower than would be expected to occur naturally in a general population of this size and is similar across other licensed COVID-19 vaccines.”
A monthly safety report will be made public by the European Medicines Agency suggesting as such will be made available in the following week. However, the EU watchdog has spoken in favour of member states continuing to use the vaccine, stating that its benefits continue to outweigh its risks.
“There is currently no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions, which are not listed as side effects with this vaccine,” it said.
According to the EMA, there were just 30 reports of blood clots amongst almost five million people that received the jab in Europe.
The United Kingdom’s medicines regulator has also spoken out in favour of taking the AstraZeneca vaccine, even if other European countries have temporarily paused their programmes.
“We are closely reviewing reports but given the large number of doses administered, and the frequency at which blood clots can occur naturally, the evidence available does not suggest the vaccine is the cause,” said Phil Bryan from the Medicines And Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.
The World Health Organisation has also claimed that AstraZeneca is an “excellent vaccine” and saw no reason to stop its distribution.
Nonetheless, a number of countries including Denmark, Norway and Bulgaria are currently on pause as investigations into the matter unfold.
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.
“Health authorities have received no reports of complications from the individuals administered this batch of the vaccine,” the ministry said.
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