EU Agency Says AstraZeneca Vaccine ‘Safe and Effective,' Not Linked to Increase in Blood Clot Risk

The finding could open the way for European countries to resume dispensing the shots after a pause

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The European Union’s drug regulatory agency says experts have concluded the AstraZeneca vaccine is not linked to an overall increase in the risk of blood clots.

The finding from the European Medicines Agency could open the way for European countries that had suspended the use of the vaccine over the past week to resume dispensing the shots. The head of the EMA, Emer Cooke, says the vaccine is “safe and effective.” The agency says the benefits outweigh the risks.

EMA recommended adding a description of these cases to the vaccine leaflets so health workers and patients are aware of the rare blood clots.

Numerous European countries had suspended use of the vaccine in the past week amid concerns over blood clots. The clots have occurred in a few dozen people among the millions of vaccinated people across the continent.

The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has been suspended by some European countries after blood clots were reported in some patients who received it. Regulators are now working to determine if those clots were due to the vaccine or just coincidental. Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, an immunologist and CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, explains how the AstraZeneca differs from the other available vaccines and why she believes it will be ruled safe.
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