EU regulator reviews AstraZeneca vaccine for connection to blood clots after small number of reports

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
Posted at 6:36 AM, Mar 18, 2021

LONDON — The world awaits a decision from Europe’s top medical agency, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), on its investigation into whether there is any evidence to show the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine is linked to a small number of blood clots reported in people across the continent.

An expert panel from the EMA is expected to release a report announcing its findings on Thursday.

Earlier this week, more than a dozen countries including Germany, France, Spain and Italy suspended immunization using the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after reports of unusual blood clots in several people.

According to the Associated Press, more than 17 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine so far in Europe.

The EMA dirrector previously said there is no evidence to suggest the vaccine was responsible and that the benefits of immunization far outweighed the small risk of getting vaccinated. The World Health Organization has also continued to say the vaccine is safe for use, and not linked to blood clotting.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is not yet approved for use in the U.S.

“We are worried that there may be an effect on the trust of the vaccines,” EMA director Emer Cooke said Tuesday. “But our job is to make sure that the products that we authorize are safe and we can be trusted by the European citizens.”