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EU regulator says AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and effective

  • Published at 04:27 pm March 18th, 2021
AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine
File photo: Vials labelled 'AstraZeneca Covid-19 Coronavirus Vaccine' and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken March 10, 2021 Reuters

The benefits of the Covid-19 vaccine, jointly developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, outweighs the risks, says EMA chief Emer Cooke

The Covid-19 vaccine developed by Swedish-British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is safe and effective and its benefits outweigh any risks, The European Medicine Agency (EMA) has said. 

During a press conference on Thursday, EMA chief Emer Cooke said they had ruled the vaccine as "safe and effective,” and it is not associated with an increase in the overall risk of thromboembolic events or blood clots, The Guardian reported. 

However, the EMA chief cautioned that, based on available evidence, “we still cannot rule out definitely a link between these [blood clot] cases and the vaccine."

Cooke said the EMA was planning to conduct observational studies to investigate the concerns for blood clots further. 

The agency’s review, covering five million people, included 30 cases of unusual blood disorders in people in the European Economic Area (EEA), which links 30 European countries, Reuters reported.

The EMA’s focus and primary concern has been on cases of blood clots in the head, a rare condition that’s difficult to treat called cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) or a subform known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST).More than 45 million of the shots have been administered across the EEA.

Also Read - No blood clotting in Covid-19 vaccine takers in Bangladesh

At least 13 European countries, including France, Germany and Italy, have stopped administering the shot pending the review.

Britain’s medicines regulator said on Thursday it was investigating five cases of CVST among people given AstraZeneca’s vaccine, but it reaffirmed that the benefits of the shot far outweighed any possible risks.

The EMA chief urged people who incurred any side effects of the vaccine to report it. 

She also mentioned that the EMA found that the AstraZeneca jab demonstrated at least a 60% efficacy in preventing Covid-19. 

AstraZeneca developed the vaccine jointly with Oxford University. 

Bangladesh is among the countries administering this vaccine to curb the spread of the pandemic.

The World Health Organization also reaffirmed its support for the shot earlier this week.

AstraZeneca has said a review covering more than 17 million people who had received its shots in the EU and Britain had found no evidence of an increased risk of blood clots.

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