The European Medicines Agency (EMA), on Wednesday, March 7, admitted there is a “possible link” between the AstraZeneca vaccine and rare blood clots. However, it confirmed that “the overall benefits of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in preventing COVID-19 (Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Virus)) outweigh the risks of side effects.”
According to the EMA’s safety committee, blood clots should be identified as an “extremely rare” side effect of the vaccine. It didn’t have enough information to identify specific risk factors, nor did it recommend any new vaccine restrictions in adults.
As of 22 March 2021, the AstraZeneca vaccine caused 18 deaths out of 86 cases of blood clots reported in the EU drug safety database (EudraVigilance). Most of the cases came from spontaneous reporting systems of the European Economic Area (EEA) and the UK, where around 25 million people had received the vaccine. So far, most of the cases reported have occurred in women under 60 years of age within two weeks of vaccination.
Following the EU agency’s statement, United Kingdom’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization said on Wednesday that people under 30 should instead be offered a choice of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
June Raine, the head of the U.K’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, still confirmed that vaccine benefits “continue to outweigh the risks for the vast majority of people.”
On the same Wednesday, Wei Shen Lim, Britain’s COVID-19 (CCP Virus) chair for the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, said at a briefing: “We are not advising a stop to any vaccination for any individual in any age group. We are advising a preference for one vaccine over another vaccine for a particular age group, really out of the utmost caution rather than because we have any serious safety concerns.”
Meanwhile, leading infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci told CNN that even if AstraZeneca’s vaccine receives regulatory approval, the United States will not need any doses. The FDA has not yet granted AstraZeneca emergency use permission.
“We have three excellent vaccines,” Fauci said. “Even if the [Food and Drug Administration] deems that this vaccine is a very good vaccine, we don’t need yet again another very good vaccine. We have enough very good vaccines.”
He added: “There is no plan to immediately start utilizing the AstraZeneca [vaccine] even if it gets approved through the EUA, which it very well might. It’s not any indictment against the product. We just have a lot of vaccines.”
Although the agencies and the World Health Organization have stated multiple times that the vaccine is safe and reliable, some countries have taken different positions on the vaccine, pausing or banning its use in certain age groups. As previously reported, Denmark and Norway have banned the vaccine entirely. The Netherlands, Germany, France, and several other nations suspended vaccinations with the AstraZeneca jab for people under 60.