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European countries to resume AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccinations after EMA terms it safe, effective

The committee also concluded that the vaccine is not associated with an increase in the overall risk of thrombolytic events or blood clots.

European countries to resume AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccinations after EMA terms it safe, effective-dnm
Author
Hague, First Published Mar 19, 2021, 11:28 AM IST
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The European Medicines Agency (EMA) safety committee which has investigated on the possible link between AstraZeneca-Oxford University Covid-19 vaccine and thrombolytic events or clots, on Thursday concluded that the vaccine is safe and effective, and its benefits of preventing Covid-19, with its associated risk of hospitalisation and death, outweigh the risks of side effects.

However, can't completely rule out a link between the vaccine and blood clots, and will investigate further, it further said.

After the EMA's announcement, a raft of European countries said they would soon resume vaccinations, including Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovenia and Bulgaria.

The Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) under European Medicines Agency (EMA) which is responsible for assessing and monitoring the safety of human medicines, has evaluated the available data related to all thrombolytic events reported after vaccination, following which several countries in European Union began suspending vaccination with AstraZeneca after incidents of clots among vaccinated people.

The EMA's chief Emer Cooke said Thursday that after an investigation into the AstraZeneca jab, 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 added.

The World Health Organization (WHO) repeated that it was better to take the AstraZeneca vaccine than not.

The Astra vaccine is one of four approved in the EU. The bloc expects 360 million deliveries from all providers in the second quarter, almost four times as many as this quarter.

So far over 7 million people have been vaccinated in the EU with the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine and 11 million have been vaccinated in the UK. India used 3.7 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine, of which over 80% are AstraZeneca vaccine made by Serum Institute of India. The AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved by both EMA and WHO, about 50 countries, too, have given the go-ahead to the vaccine, which makes it one of the most widely used jabs in the world.

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