The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is continuing to study reports of rare blood clot events potentially linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine, but said on Thursday that the jab “is safe and effective in preventing Covid-19”.
Following a review of the vaccine and reported rare incidents of blood clots among recipients, the EMA did not find a link to an overall risk of blood clotting, but will continue its investigations.
The regulator’s findings come after 13 EU member states halted their rollouts of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company developed with Oxford University.
Speaking at a press conference to discuss the agency’s review, EMA chief Emer Cooke said the regulator’s Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee had come to a “clear scientific conclusion” after reviewing reports of blood clotting.
Cooke added that despite days of in-depth analysis of numerous evidence, the EMA “still cannot rule out definitively” a link between cases of blood clotting and the vaccine.
The regulator has therefore recommended highlighting the possible risks in updated product information and will launch additional investigations and studies into blood clotting, she said.
“This is a safe and effective vaccine, its benefits in protecting people from Covid-19 with the associated risks of death and hospitalization outweigh the possible risks,” Cooke said.
The committee also concluded that the vaccine is not associated with an increase in the overall risk of thromboembolic events or blood clots.