The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has declared the AstraZeneca vaccine safe. After examining the possible side effects of the substance, some countries temporarily stopped using it. The agency said that the vaccine did not increase the risk of blood clots. Following the opinion’s publication, several countries have announced that they will resume vaccination with this preparation from Friday.
Vaccination with the British-Swedish company AstraZeneca has been suspended in recent days by about half of the Member States of the European Union, including, for example, Germany, France, and Italy because they will wait for an EMA opinion. Czechia and Slovakia are among the countries that have not stopped using this vaccine.
Experts from the EMA’s Risk Committee have ruled out quality problems with batches of vaccines temporarily withdrawn in EU countries after investigating dozens of suspicious cases today. “The committee also concluded that the vaccine was not associated with an overall increased risk of thromboembolism or blood clots,” said EMA chief Emer Cooke.
According to the agency, the benefits of the covid-19 vaccine still outweigh the potential risks. However, the EMA acknowledged that a link between the vaccine and a few exceptional cases of complications could not yet be completely ruled out. The investigation of these cases would therefore continue.
Following the announcement of the EMA’s opinion, Germany, Italy, France, Cyprus, Lithuania, and Latvia have decided to resume vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine from Friday. It is expected that other countries, which have also awaited the European Medicines Agency’s opinion, will soon return to the use of this preparation.
According to the media, these include Spain, expects to use the AstraZeneca vaccine again from Wednesday next week; in the meantime, consider which group of residents to serve. Portugal will return to the vaccine on Monday, and the Netherlands intends to do so next week.
So far, Sweden and Norway’s health authorities have taken a more cautious stance, suspending the first vaccination with AstraZeneca due to the potential risk. The Swedish Medicines Agency has promised to issue an opinion within the next week. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health has said that it is premature to draw conclusions and give its statement at the end of next week.