European Medicines Agency announces decision: “The AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and effective”

European Medicines Agency - EMAPhoto: AP Photo / Peter Dejong
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The European Medicines Agency (EMA) concludes that AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective. 

The EU Medicines Agency said AstraZeneca’s vaccine is safe and recommended its continued use. The EMA has examined reports of blood clots in some of the people who have received the vaccine.

The committee has made a thorough assessment of the available data and the circumstances surrounding the reported cases, and on Thursday, the conclusion was clear.

The recommendation for continued use is in line with what EMA director Emer Cooke said earlier this week. Even before the committee’s work was completed, Cooke pointed out that the vaccine’s benefits outweighed the risks.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said the same, recommending continued use of the vaccine.

Paused use

The EMA announced its decision during a press conference on Thursday at 5:00 PM.

At least 15 European countries, including Norway, have paused the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine for fear of side effects following several unexplained cases of blood clots in recently vaccinated people.

Earlier on Thursday, researchers at the Oslo University Hospital (Rikshospitalet) announced that a strong immune response after the AstraZeneca vaccine led to three health workers getting blood clots. The information became known before EMA’s publication of its report.

Public trust

Around 17 million people in the EU and the UK have received at least one dose of the vaccine. AstraZeneca has previously stated that they have received reports of 37 cases of blood clots. 

While blood clots occur frequently in the general population, the reported cases stand out because several of the patients also had low platelet counts.

Confidence in the AstraZeneca vaccine has plummeted after the temporary halt of vaccination, despite the fact that no more blood clots were detected among the vaccinated than in the rest of the population. 

In a Norwegian Coronary Monitor / Opinion survey, 77% of Norwegians answered that they would still take the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The survey was conducted before the EMA’s conclusion was known.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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