EMA official sees thrombosis link with AstraZeneca vaccine

EU denies blocking 3.1 million Astra Zeneca shots to Australia

Covid 19 coronavirus: AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots link 'clear', says top health official

The head of the European Medicines Agency's vaccines strategy said there is a link between the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine and a rare blood clot in the brain.

Cavaleri's opinion is therefore not the official position of the EMA, but he added that the agency will be investigating the connection further and an announcement will be made in the coming days.

But it added that a causal link between clots and the vaccine is possible and the EMA is expected to provide an updated assessment on the investigation this week.

"The U.K. needs to be on high alert as it starts using the vaccine in younger people", Sam Fazeli, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote in a report.

But, when asked if the incidence of rare blood clots can be linked directly to the vaccine, Mr Cavaleri replied: "In my opinion we can now say it - it is clear there is an association with the vaccine".

As of March 31st, the EMA had identified 62 cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) in the world - 44 of them in Europe - among 9.2 million doses of AstraZeneca administered.

Mr Cavaleri said they are still trying to understand where exactly this link comes from.

Australia began vaccinations much later than some other countries due to low case numbers, recording just under 29,400 COVID-19 cases and 909 deaths since the pandemic began.

An investigation is also underway in the United Kingdom, where researchers are looking at the possibility of links between the AstraZeneca vaccine and rare blood clots.

In total, the United Kingdom has ordered 457 million doses, of which 100 million are from AstraZeneca. The move will no doubt slow down the vaccine's rollout and governmental plans for widespread national inoculations, however, it will also hopefully keep people safe from blood clots.

The UK's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) confirmed that of those 30 people, seven had died as of 24 March.

Several EU countries including France, Italy, and Germany - the bloc's three largest countries by population - either suspended or limited the use of the vaccine before the EMA declared that the benefits outweighed the risks and it should remain in use.

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